Vichyssoise, A Cold Summer Soup

recipe vichyssoise soup

Just because summer is already full on, it doesn’t mean you have to stop eating soup. If you’re craving a soothing, savory dinner in a bowl but don’t want to raise a sweat eating it, vichyssoise is just the ticket.

The recipe is based on a traditional French leek and potato soup, and was first introduced to diners at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in 1917. The chef, Louis Diat, had been feeling nostalgic for the delicious cool, creamy soup his mother and grandmother would serve when he was a child. While the original recipe calls for chicken stock, a well-flavored vegetable stock works just as well.

Use a large pot for this soup. Part of its cool charm is it’s white look, so be sure to peel the potatoes and use ground white pepper, not black.

It’s one of those recipes that keeps the customer satisfied – for generations to come.

Vichyssoise Soup

Serves 6


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
White part of 8 large leeks
2 medium potatoes, peeled
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
Salt and white pepper

For garnish:
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley leaves, or 3 tablespoons small croutons

Clean the leeks and slice thinly.
Peel the potatoes and chop into large dice.
Melt the butter in the soup pot and add the leeks. Stir over low-medium heat 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring.
Pour the vegetable stock in. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
Now reduce the heat so that the soup only simmers. Cook 35 minutes, covered.
Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
Blend the soup slowly with an immersion blender. If using a stand blender, blend it in several small batches to avoid getting burned from hot liquid bursting out.
Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the cream, salt and white pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil again, then lower the heat. If using white wine, add it now. Cook at a simmer for 5 minutes.
Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Cover it tightly and chill it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

You may also chill it overnight; the flavors will deepen. In that case, remove it from the fridge half an hour before serving to let the flavors re-assert themselves.

Garnish each serving with chopped chives, parsley, or a few croutons. Enjoy!

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