Recipe: Almost instant vichyssoise by Muffy Vhay
July 25, 2017
Washoe Lake is full again — all the way up to its traditional brim. Weekends bring out more crowds there than we've seen in years. People on jet skis, kiteboards and wakeboards, rubber rafts, kayaks and sailboats fill the water and just plain picnickers fill the day-use area during this especially hot summer weather.
The park is such a treasure right in our backyard. We're always surprised it doesn't get even more use. There are several hiking trails, and the equestrian area sees a lot of activity year round.
During the year, there are quite a few "planned" rides — endurance and others. The endurance riders have a great sign: To Finish is to Win. We can usually hear the horses early in the morning expressing their anticipation with lots of whinnies and neighs. Sometimes we worry about the horses in this ultra hot weather, but we're told there are veterinarians in the loop to make sure they're safe.
When the lake has been dry (last year and several others), our whole weather pattern in the valley is different. No afternoon "Washoe Zephyr" off the lake to cool us a bit, and almost no "down canyon" breeze at night. We miss the water views and the pelicans, too. We're glad the lake is full, and we wish the heat would go away.
It's just plain too hot to cook — or not cook much. So sandwiches, salads, summer soups, and other quick and easy meals are the go-to for this time of year. The recipe this week is for an easy and quick blender vichyssoise (potato/leek or onion) cold soup. If you add a green salad and some crusty French bread, you'll have a nice light meal.
ALMOST INSTANT VICHYSSOISE
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This soup is made in a blender and served immediately. Amounts are not too critical.
Serves two. To make more, do two batches. I keep a can or two of cream of potato soup in the freezer.
One can frozen cream of potato soup (such as Campbells) or one container deli-style potato soup (such as Raley's baked potato soup)
1 1/2 cans of whole milk in the frozen soup can or 1/2 container of milk in the deli-style container
3 scallions, chopped, or a handful of chives, cut in pieces
1 teaspoon onion-celery salt seasoning (such as Spice Islands Beau Monde)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place ingredients into the jar of a blender (run the frozen soup can under hot water for a minute or two — the soup will come out in chunks).
Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Add milk or half and half if too thick. Blend again. Serve topped with a few chopped chives.
David and Muffy Vhay own Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast. Contact the ranch at 775-882-3643.