V – Vichyssoise

V – this is where I really start getting into trouble in the blogging challenge.  It all goes downhill at the letter “V”.  I walked around all day yesterday, muttering “V” to myself.  I thought of all the words that start with the letter “V”.  I came up with vociferous, volume, voluminous, volumetric – basically words that there was nothing interesting to say about. And then, for some strange reason – Vichyssoise came into my head.

I honestly didn’t even know what Vichyssoise soup was.  I thought it was made with beets, but I think that may be Borscht. I know Vichyssoise soup is a really fancy soup.  I don’t know why, because it’s not even served hot, which seems really strange to me.  I mean, if you are going to go to all the trouble of making a soup, why wouldn’t you just serve it hot?

It turns out it is an American invention, created by some chef at the Ritz-Carlton.  He longed for the days, during his childhood in France, back when his grandmother used to make potato and leek soup, and he and his brother would cool it down by adding milk.  Oh, those were the days – when we sat around eating potato and leek soup, diluted with milk.  Umm, I don’t think so.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I like a cold soup.  For instance, let’s take Gazpacho – that is a really nice soup, made with a tomato base, and green peppers and onions.  I understand why that is served cold, and besides I don’t think it would be all that appetizing served warm, or maybe it would be – but then it would taste like a really runny spaghetti sauce, which sounds really quite unappealing.

I think the reason I focused on Vichyssoise as my post for “V”  is I just like the word.  It rolls right off the tongue, and is super hard to spell.  It is challenging to remember where the two “Ss” go, and is it only one c, or is it two “Cs”?  Kind of like occasional, which I invariably spell wrong, because I can’t remember if it has two “Cs” or two “Ss”.  I always have to spell-check that word.

Why is Vichyssoise considered such an elegant soup?  It is made with potatoes and leeks, not very elegant vegetables.  It strikes me, that because it was made by some chef at the Ritz-Carlton, who had a fancy French accent, everyone thought it was the best soup they had ever eaten, and so then all the other fancy people said “Oh if those fancy people think it is good, then I must want to enjoy it too!”  But what if all the fancy people were sitting around, eating cold potato and leek soup, pretending to enjoy it, and the whole time they were choking every spoonful down?

It’s kind of like the Opera – fancy people always go to that, but do they really, really enjoy going to the Opera?  I don’t think so. I mean, most of the time you can’t even understand what the singers are saying, and someone is always dying.  I think they do it, because all their fancy friends do it. Just imagine, an entire room of people, listening to all of that, pretending they are enjoying it, and secretly wishing they were home on their patio, in their pajamas.

I am glad I am not a fancy person.  I am glad I don’t feel like I have to eat cold potato and leek soup, all the while pretending to like it! But I do like that word, Vichyssoise. I really, really do!

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