buttermilk reincarnated: vichyssoise

Remember that leftover buttermilk from my butter-making experiment? Well, I just couldn’t let it go to waste and so I spent a little time browsing for buttermilk recipes online. After sifting through dozens of buttermilk fried chicken and buttermilk pancake entries, I found … vichyssoise with cauliflower and buttermilk. First thought: “Yum!”. Second thought: “Thank you Martha!”.

Vichyssoise with Cauliflower and Buttermilk, adapted from Martha Stewart Living
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
5 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well (about 3 cups)
1 white potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground white pepper (I used black because I didn’t have white, but the white would make it a prettier soup)
Large pinch nutmeg
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
Coarse salt
3 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
1 cup buttermilk (ta-da!!)

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add potato, a generous grinding of pepper, and the nutmeg, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in cauliflower, a large pinch of salt, and 3 cups stock. Simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower has softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove 2 florets, and transfer to a cutting board; thinly slice lengthwise. Set aside for garnish.

Working in batches, puree vegetable mixture in a blender (I used an immersion blender-much easier), filling no more than halfway each time. Return to pan. Stir in buttermilk and remaining 1/2 cup stock.  Season again with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold, garnished with cauliflower slices.

Hot this is soup referred to as potato and leek soup, cold as vichyssoise … if anyone can explain this to me, I’m all ears.

Conclusions: While not the most photogenic of dishes, this soup is delicious! Quick, easy and really comforting. We ate it for three days and weren’t too upset about that fact.

-Emily