Here is a playful dish using two humble ingredients the potato and the leek.  A classic combination which can be combined multiple ways but in this case it is used to make a soup which can be typically served hot or cold.  This is served hot and vichyssoise is just a little play on words because vichyssoise is usually the cold version.  I decided to make the soup and use it as the sauce for ricotta gnocchi.  I added some crunch bread crumbs and some preserved mushrooms to give a little acid and texture to the dish.  This recipe is really simple and straight forward with concept and flavors.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! 


1 1/2 Idaho potato cooked steamed or boiled and then dried
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 cup of flour plus more
2 tsp of salt 

Potato and Leek soup
1 peeled idaho potato large diced
2 leeks white only
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig of time
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine
3 cups of chicken stock or water
1/2 cup of cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Conserva (adapted from Thomas Keller)
2lb of wild mushrooms (mitake, Beech, Cremeni, Porcini, Shitake, etc...)
1 cup of grape seed oil
1 cup of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig of thyme and rosemary
1/4 cup of lemon verbena leaves
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1/2 onion
salt and black pepper

Sage Flowers, oregano leaves
1/4 cup fo toasted bread crumbs

For the gnocchi,

Get a steamer prepared by getting a stock pot with water and an insert ready.  Place whole potatoes in the steamer and cook until they are tender all the way through.  Then take the lid off and let them dry out for 3-5 minutes.  While still hot peel off the skin and discard. Then place the potatoes in a food mill or ricer, and rice them into a mixing bowl.  You can let potatoes cool slightly if they are too hot to work with.  Then make a well in the middle of the potatoes and add the ricotta cheese and egg.  Then take a cup of the flour and pour around the outside of riced potatoes. Then with a fork mix the egg into the cheese and potatoes working from the middle then slowly working your way out into the flour.  Once the dough starts to form get rid of the fork and use your hands.  You want incorporate the flour until a smooth dough forms but you don't want to knead or over work it.  You might need more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Once the dough has formed you can cut the dough into 5 slices using a dough cutter or knife.  The take each slice and roll with your finger into a rope.  You might need to add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.  Once a uniform rope of dough has been achieved cut into uniform bite size dumplings.  Then using a gnocchi paddle (board) roll the gnocchi by flicking them into a lightly floured sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Continue until all the dough is finished. Set aside until ready to cook

Mushroom Conserva,

Trim the mushrooms of tough stems if any and any dirt that may be on them.  Cut large mushroom into pieces and keep the small ones whole.  In a pot add the oil, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and verbena.  Bring the oil up to 170 degrees.  Then pour in the mushrooms carefully.  Turn the mushrooms periodically.  When the oil comes back up to 170 degrees cook for another 5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and add the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Let the mushrooms steep in the oil for 45 minutes.  Then transfer to a container and keep in the refrigerator.  The mushrooms should be submerged in the oil.  Serve the mushrooms hot or cold and will keep for a month.   

For the Soup,

Add butter and olive oil to a small pot along with the leeks and spig of thyme. Season with 1 tsp of salt and cover the pot.  Have the heat on medium-low to sweat the onion for 5-7 minutes without browning.  Take the lid off and add the sliced garlic and cook for another minute.  Deglaze the pot with white wine and reduce by half.  Then add the potatoes and stock.  Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are just done.   Then add the cream and cook for another 3 minutes.  Place all the ingredients in a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a pot of salted boiling water add your gnocchi to the pot. Once the gnocchi float to the top skim them out of the water and place them in the pan with 12 ounces of the potato soup.  Adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt.  Add the some of the mushrooms to the pan until they are warmed through. 

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