Welcome to another Whisk Wednesday and to our latest challenge! This week's assignment was Julienne Darblay (but shouldn't that be D'Arblay?) from Le Cordon Bleu at Home. According to The Wordsworth Dictionary of Culinary and Menu Terms, the word darblay comes from the French and is "a potato soup with finely chopped vegetables," which seems to make julienne a bit redundant, too. But never mind.
This is not a terribly complicated recipe, in that the ingredients are very basic and familiar, but it's not a recipe you can make at the last minute, either. Like so many classic French dishes, it assumes your kitchen has homemade stock on hand and it requires a fair amount of prep work (the word julienne in the title probably gave that away, no?). So when I read over the recipe on Sunday and noted that the very first item on the ingredients list was chicken stock and a reference to another recipe for preparing it, I was quite perturbed with myself for not having bought a chicken at our local Farmer's Market the day before. Another trip to the Greenmarket and a day of simmering later, and I was ready to roll.
Once the leeks, potatoes and bouquet garni were cooking in the chicken broth, the kitchen started to smell seriously fabulous.
I actually enjoy chopping vegetables, so I didn't mind creating these piles of julienned leeks, carrots and turnips, which were then blanched in salted water very briefly.
The cooked potatoes and leeks were pureed and then strained to remove every tiny bit of leek and potato pieces for a smooth velvety base. The base was reheated gently, combined with creme fraiche, and then poured over the julienned vegetables.
In taste it is very similar to vichyssoise, which is hardly surprising, given that the only real difference here is the addition of the julienned vegetables and that the soup is served warm.