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Old 07-19-2015, 10:14 AM   #1
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Another Vichyssoise Question, this one pertaining to leeks

Seems like I got ahead of myself with my first thread about freezing small onions, and then the thread on which potato is the mist ideal for vichyssoise soup.

Here's the situation.

Im growing leeks in my garden ( along with potatoes and many other veggies).
95% of my intentions for growing leeks is to use in home made vichyssoise.

Usually, the leeks last well into the fall/ winter, allowing me to pick them all season ( at various sizes). This, in turn, allows the bulk of them to be pickable at the same time as the potatoes are harvested.

I don't know if its because its a hot summer, or planted things too early, or if its just the variety I planted, but my leeks are starting to ( for lack of better words or descriptions) collapse on themselves. Almost bending over like a ripe onion, at ( or just above ) the soil level. The outer leaves / layers are kinda splitting and collapsing, making the plant less sturdy, and leading to its bending at mid to low level. there are no evidence of disease, rot or bugs.

I don't want to lose the whole crop by seeing what may happen, so I plan on harvesting them all today.

Potatoes won't be ready for at least another month or so.

I want to make vichyssoise using only my own leeks and potatoes
( Sure i could go to the store and use their potatoes , but I don't want to).

So, here is my question.

Should i cut up, blanch , then freeze my leeks in pre-measured portions, and use them when the potatoes are harvested ?

Should i cut them up, cook them in the broth ( In precise measurements as if I were making the soup) , then freeze it like that. And when the potatoes are ready, i can just cook them in the pre-made, pre-measured leek and soup broth?

or does it really not matter?

thanks in advance ,

larry

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Old 07-19-2015, 10:54 AM   #2
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I would saute, then freeze. freezing 'raw' turns them to mush, so perhaps having them wilted from the saute will 'pre-mush' them with less texture loss on thaw.

but I've not tried it - tried freezing raw, that didn't go so well.

did you plant them in trenches and hill up? the long stalk above ground before the leaves branch out is unusual. the dirt looks grand - perhaps too much nitrogen?
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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Leeks that are going to be cooked can be frozen as is. Their texture doesn't matter. They will be soft and limp when defrosted but that shouldn't impact the soup.

I freeze celery stalks all the time for use in mire poix. You wouldn't think of eating them raw but they still provide flavor for the cooked dish.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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Could have been too much nitrogen, but its strange how 1/2 look great and the other half kinda collapsed . I didn't hill them up much, but did plant them very deep initially. A good 6 inches under the ground, with only about 1 - 2 inches of green sticking out. I just picked them all, cleaned them, and figuring out what to do with them
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:21 AM   #5
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Another Vichyssoise Question, this one pertaining to leeks

I freeze raw chopped green onions and keep them in a ziplock. I use them in salads. I also freeze raw chopped celery, carrot, and onion for soups. They're limper than fresh, but work well in soups and other dishes that are cooked.

Your leeks should be fine frozen. Maybe freeze a couple test batches, one sauteed, one raw, before you chop everything up to see if the texture works for you.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:59 PM   #6
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I freeze raw leeks all the time and use them as the base for things like risotto or as an addition to mirepoix. I dint blanch or anything. Just clean chop freeze.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:09 PM   #7
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Larry -

it's a chore, but I've found putting leek sprouts (from Jan...) in a 8-12" deep trench and then filling in as they grow to be entirely worthwhile.

we're just south of Harrisburg - if your weather has been as weird as ours, very odd things are happening.

my potatoes are still in bloom.... got antsy for some red news and dug a plant - nothing, nadda, not a single nodule! yellow onions - bulbed up nicely; pulled, dried. lost/loosing at least 50% to rot - way too much water/moisture this year.

typically I have to set up an over-head sprinkler 'system' - well, other than 1 or 2x right after seeding, not had to water anything. my biggest (green) tomato is roughly 2.5-3" - and there be zero red ones. the peppers are looking at me like "why did you do this?"

so, it's been weird this year, for sure.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:51 PM   #8
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Are you sure your potatoes aren't ready? How many potato plants do you have? Two plants should be enough for a soup.
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:23 PM   #9
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I store leeks dirt shaken off, greens trimmed a little, in a plastic bag, not sealed, in the crisper. They last three months.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:01 AM   #10
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I slice mine after trimming and freeze un-blanched on a tray. Then I transfer to a plastic bag and use as needed. If they have 'bolted' which is what it sounds like it will be worth taking a minute or two to check the centres. If they are hard then they could be a bit tough and spoil your soup.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Are you sure your potatoes aren't ready? How many potato plants do you have? Two plants should be enough for a soup.
I dug up a plant. nothing. I think that means they're not ready yet (g)

I have four rows about 25 ft long each....
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:04 AM   #12
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My gardeners got to one of my extra rows by accident ( weed whacking them down to the ground). So, I dug up what was there, and not too much . Just a hand full of smallish potatoes. Nothing worse than pealing teeny tiny potatoes. Especially, to get enough for a soup. Usually I pick my potatoes around labor day + / - .

BTW, here are my leeks ( with a few other goodies that were ready)
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:11 AM   #13
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I would blanch them briefly in boiling water with a pinch of Kosher salt and a couple of drops of white vinegar. Pat thoroughly dry. Cut off the white ends for the soup and rough chop them into small Ziplocks. If you want to keep the green end/s do the same to them.
Sauteing them adds butter which is OK if you use clarified butter but you don't want to end milk solids. Freezing milk solids can add a weird textural element in the finished soup.
You are going to be pureeing the soup anyway so any loss in texture doesn't matter.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I dug up a plant. nothing. I think that means they're not ready yet (g)

I have four rows about 25 ft long each....
I hope you are exaggerating when you say, nothing. How long of a growing season do you have left?

Last week I dug one plant from my early potatoes and got 3 pounds. I never had any luck when trying to rob a plant of new potatoes, so I harvest the whole plant and feel bad for all the tiny tubers I dug.

When I saw this message, I just dug one plant from my late potato crop, and got 1 and 3/4ths pound. The plant had just started to flower, a clear sign it is not ready to dig.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #15
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no, not exaggerating. big white roots with slight swellings on the ends. no spuds. no kidding. these are all Red Pontiac - grew same strain last year and they did very well.

weird, just weird. I was still picking snap peas in mid July!

first frost here is mid to late October - so I should get something out of the plot.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:34 PM   #16
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first frost here is mid to late October - so I should get something out of the plot.

You're lucky. My entire growing season is 4.3 months long..
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