A few weeks ago while I was zipping through my Facebook feed, apparently scrolling through a whole bunch of fake news items, I saw my friend Doreen post something about what she was making for dinner that night. I think we can all agree that Facebook and social media has become a pretty great source for recipes and dinner inspirations (although I hope it’s used for better purposes than just that). You see a great looking picture or video of something that makes you drool and you get inspired to make it yourself, or you just get to peek in on what other people are making that night. Inspiration (and judgement) can be found everywhere. In any case, Doreen was making Vichyssoise in her crock pot. She gave a brief overview of her recipe and it sounded like good stuff. I actually copied it down and kept it as a note on my computer because it sounded good and I can tell Doreen makes some great food. Maybe this recipe would be something I would make one day. Lola loves soup so coming up with a new one is always a bonus.
Then here comes National Vichyssoise Day! I thought how fortuitous. I was ready for this one. I had an appointment in Middletown first thing in the morning, so afterwards I picked up the ingredients at the store and then came home and put it all together. Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold although can be served warm. Along with the potatoes and leeks, Doreen also used fresh garlic, thyme, parsley and scallions. I put it all into the crockpot with some chicken stock and let it cook there throughout the day. When it was almost dinner time, I turned it off, pureed everything with an immersion blender and stirred in some cream to give it a creamier texture. Then, I had cooked some bacon up nice and crispy which I would use as a topping for my soup.
I went heavy on the bacon topping …because it’s bacon.
This is a great recipe and I think I came close to what Doreen made although I didn’t have an exact recipe for how to make it. I winged a lot of it. I also cross-checked the recipe with other Vichyssoise recipes and I think I was right on target. I ate it when it was on the warm side and I can really see why it will be better when chilled like it was intended. So everything about this soup was right up to par and I’d give Doreen 5 Stars for it on Yelp if that was a thing (maybe that’s my next bid venture?) But here’s what happened that led us astray:
I had the crockpot set up in the kitchen all day and that’s where Lola was working. So she was essentially inhaling the aroma of this soup all day long and it has a very cooking-vegetable aroma. I think the leeks were the most aromatic. It’s not a smell we are used to.
Oddly enough, the night before Vichyssoise, we were talking to Lola’s sister Katie who had just been through a “cleanse” and she was telling us about the ups and downs of it. We relayed a story about a cleanse that Lola and I had done about 5 or 6 years ago. When we started talking about it, we were saying it wasn’t too bad. We would start the day with lemon water which was kind of good. We would commiserate on our hunger pains together. All in all, we couldn’t think of anything that was really terrible about it. Then we thought about the Super Broth. We’d have to drink about a pint of it every day. It was a vegetable broth that was made from all kinds of root vegetables that were just boiled to death. It was so nasty and it would stay on your tastebuds for hours but apparently it was packed with nutrients. That was easily what made the whole cleanse a terrible experience. Maybe talking about it put the smell of that broth in Lola’s head, but after she had been steeping in the cooking Vichyssoise aromas all day, she realized it smelled a lot like that Super Broth. She just couldn’t do it. And then she poisoned me by putting that thought into my head. It was a sense memory gone bad.
I scooped out a bowl because I knew I still had to celebrate it, but I can’t say I was exactly excited about what I was about to put down my gullet. The soup came out nice and thick, which was a plus. The addition of the bacon on top helped soften the aroma too which made it more appealing. Honestly, it was good. It was nice and thick and full of taste from the fresh veggies. The bacon gave it a bit more flavor and also a nice hidden crisp in certain bites. It felt filling and hardy like a good autumn meal should feel. It was indeed a good soup and I know it will be better today when it is chilled. Lola however couldn’t muster up even a taste of it. The smell and the association with the Super Broth knocked her out of the game. Instead I made her a delightful grilled ham and cheese panini which she had been craving since she had seen them as one of the rewards on Survivor this week. I guess Lola’s palette is deeply connected to her thoughts and memories. I guess everyone’s is.
So in the ned, I made Vichyssoise and tried it and liked it. It was a brave step to take when I had some predisposed biases against it based on the smell, but I gave it the old college try. I knew it was all things I liked in the soup so how could it go wrong? Sometimes you just have to trust what you know and enjoy. That’s how I celebrated and I am glad I did.
Next Up: National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day