Buttermilk Fennel Vichyssoise

By • March 18, 2013 • 27 Comments



Author Notes: I’'ve said it many times here, but soup really is my favorite thing to make. It can be as comforting, elegant, rustic, hearty, simple, complex, delicate, chunky, smooth, hot, cold, big, or little as you want it to be. It goes with every meal and every season. And the garnish is always so fun to decide. It’s like that hat or scarf that just makes the outfit.

This soup, a vichyssoise, is kind of all of those things: simple yet complex, delicate yet hearty, elegant yet rustic. It can even be served hot or cold. This soup calls for any manner of garnishes: chives, crème fraîche, a simple buttery crouton, or maybe you want to really dress it up with a sliver of smoked salmon and a small dollop of caviar. Now that really makes the outfit.
F for Food

Food52 Review: WHO: F for Food is a master of soups who loves her immersion blender.
WHAT: A tangy, versatile soup that shows off what fennel can really do.
HOW: A standard sweat, simmer, purée method is all that stands in the way of you eating this soup for lunch -- today.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the many hats this soup wears -- serve it hot, cold, for a quick lunch or an elegant dinner party -- garnish with anything your heart desires. If you want to be black-tie about it, top it with smoked salmon, but you certainly don't need it to capture this soup's charms.
A&M

Serves 6

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light-green parts only, cleaned, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 large white potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped fennel bulb plus one handful of fronds, chopped
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Smoked salmon & caviar for garnish (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add leek, season with salt, and cook, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in fennel (bulb and fronds) and cook for about 5-7 more minutes.
  3. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer puréed soup to a large bowl.
  4. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir in sour cream (or crème fraîche) and buttermilk just before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed. If necessary, thin the soup with a bit more chicken stock or water to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Garnish, if you like, with a sliver of smoked salmon and a tiny drop of caviar. This soup may be served hot or cold.
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about 1 year ago tota

This is the most heavenly soup---easy to make, tastes much more complex than it actually is, and I love it! this will be a go-to from now on.

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over 1 year ago amber wilson | for the love of the south

Congrats on being a finalist! Such a lovely way to use this veggie!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thank you so much!

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over 1 year ago Midge

I am inching ever closer to getting a Vitamix. This sounds worth it! Congrats!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

They are kind of prohibitively expensive. I had wanted one for years, and finally got one as a gift this past Christmas. I must say, changed my life!!

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over 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

Love this recipe already, and then you topped it with smoked salmon? Love it even more!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thanks so much!

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over 1 year ago LE BEC FIN

i find this a very intriguing combination of ingredients (esp. the buttermilk.) The one thing that stumps me is that i think the fennel would still be crunchy after only 5-7 minutes. Do you want it that way or do tou want a silky smooth pureed soup?

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over 1 year ago F for Food

The key to the fennel getting pureed to the degree it does, in this soup, is the Vitamix blender. That thing is POWERFUL! If you don't have something of that magnitude, cook the fennel down longer and use less fronds. Good luck!

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over 1 year ago Kim Roe

Something to try this weekend! Yum.

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Kim, If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!!!
XOXO!

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, your sounds fantastic.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

meant to say your soup.

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Suzanne,

I like 'your sounds fantastic' even more! THANK YOU!

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOL!!

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over 1 year ago Bevi

Congrats FfF!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thank you, Bevi!

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations on being a finlist F for Food! I've had my eye on this soup for a while now, and definitely need to give it a try. It really does seem like the perfect light lunch or elegant starter.

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thank you, Emily! I hope you try the recipe and let me know how it turns out!

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over 1 year ago lapadia

Sounds delicious, FfF, Congrats on be in the finals!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thank you so much!

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love vichyssoise! Congratulations on being a finalist!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Barbara, vichyssoise is one of my all-time favoritest things! Thanks for the congrats!

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over 1 year ago Waverly

Your soup sounds delicious...and easy. Congratulations!

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thank you so much! It's crazy how easy soups are - and delicious!

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over 1 year ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

yum.

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over 1 year ago F for Food

Thanks! It IS pretty yum... ;)