Cucumber Cups with Vichyssoise
Vichyssoise is a classic French potato-and-leek soup. Hollowed-out cucumber cups hold just enough of the creamy puree for everyone to have a taste.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 to 8 medium leeks (white parts only), rinsed well and thinly sliced crosswise
- 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- Coarse salt
- 2 cups half-and-half
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 English cucumbers, peeled and cut crosswise into 1 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and stock. Season with salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Strain leek-potato mixture through a fine sieve, reserving liquid. Puree solids in a food mill or blender, adding reserved liquid as needed, just until smooth. Stir in remaining reserved liquid.
Strain soup through sieve into a large bowl, and stir in half-and-half and nutmeg. Season with salt and white pepper. Refrigerate vichyssoise until chilled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, hollow out cucumbers using a melon baller, leaving bottoms intact. Refrigerate, covered with a damp towel, until ready to use.
Stir cream into chilled vichyssoise just before serving. Fill cucumber cups with vichyssoise and garnish with chives.