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Creamy Vegan Vichyssoise Soup with Potatoes and Leeks

This creamy yet creamless potato and leek vegan vichyssoise can be served hot or cold. Savor it chilled on summer’s lovely warm days or warm yourself on cool days by serving it hot!  Here’s my vegan interpretation of vichyssoise, which by definition and tradition would be a cold leek and potato puree made with butter and cream. 

Vegan Vichyssoise

This recipe takes advantage of the potatoes and leeks we found in our CSA farm share box this week. Creamy potatoes make darn delicious creamy vegan vichyssoise.

Vichyssoise, pronounced vihsh-ee-SWAHZ is a classic French soup. Traditional vichyssoise recipes begin with sautéing the veggies in butter instead of olive oil, and they have you stir in heavy cream, sour cream or yogurt after the puree has chilled. But there’s really no reason to use butter or cream when you can enjoy this delicious vegan vichyssoise with a whole lot less calories!

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New Mexico Green Chile Pesto

This year I discovered a new pesto variation.  My girlfriend who often travels to New Mexico learned to add green chile powder to the basil, nuts, garlic and olive oil essence. When she first described green chile pesto, I pictured diced green chiles. No, green chile pesto calls for New Mexico green chile powder, or ground dried green chiles.

fresh basil for Green Chile Pesto

Genovese basil

This new green chile pesto has a nice garlic bite, fresh bright green flavor from the basil, and  just the right measure of spicy heat from the powdered green chile. Taste and add more of the light green powder if you like more heat!

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Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil

A few years ago I tasted an appetizer of watermelon with salty cheese and peppery arugula. The chef had cut 2-inch cubes of watermelon and scooped a 1-inch deep hole out of the top. He filled the hole with vinaigrette-dressed baby arugula and sprinkled goat cheese on top. Memory of that clever unusual appetizer inspires this watermelon and feta salad with Thai basil.

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Thai Basil

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Thin and Crispy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

In the overflow cookbook cupboard in our kitchen, you’ll find a couple of worn and bulging tattered-paged spiral notebooks. They’re my “culinary journals”, full of scribbled recipes and clippings from magazines and newspapers, recipes I hope to try someday. This thin and crisp whole wheat pizza dough is one of those scribbles, dotted with oil stains and fingermarks, in a treasured, well-used notebook.

Whole Wheat pizza dough, proofed

Years ago I numbered the pages and indexed the recipes I use all the time. On page 94, dated 1/15/81, is Alta Special Saturday Nite Pizza. (I must have skied Alta that day.) With wonderful nutty whole-grain flavor, this homemade whole wheat pizza dough is THE BEST, a winner. Every time I make pizza for friends, they say stuff like, “WOW! the crust is so nice and thin!”

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Garlic and Leek Soup with Saffron

This garlic and leek soup with saffron is a variation of traditional Spanish Sopa de Ajo. Every Spanish mother has her personal twist on this soup–the gist is broth simmered with ample garlic. Typically garlic soup includes starchy rice–in this version I’ve used orzo instead.

Two entire bulbs of garlic, a pinch of saffron, and a couple whole cloves give their essence up to a pot of veggie broth. Strain and discard the garlic and you’re left with rich delicious broth you wouldn’t even guess is loaded with garlic–that’s how mellow it gets with a long simmer. Continue Reading…