The story of the origin of Vichyssoise goes like this. Chef Louis Diat of the Ritz-Carlton created this soup based on his mother’s recipe. He created this soup in 1917 for the opening of the Roof garden restaurant of the Ritz-Carlton in New York City. Chef Diat was searching for recipes for the hot summer weather and remembered his mom’s Potato Leek soup. In the summer, his mother would add cold milk to the soup to give the kids something cool to eat. Chef Diat recreated it for the Ritz and named it “Crème Vichyssoise glacée”, after his hometown of Vichy. It was a big hit.
This soup is also very popular in my house. Shh, just don’t tell your children there are leeks in the soup and they will never know. For vegetarians, this soup can be made the “Julia Childs” version which uses water instead of chicken broth.
Take 4-5 leeks and wash very well. Leeks tend to have mud & dirt in between the stalks.
Slice the whites of the leeks.
Saute leeks in butter on medium heat. Meanwhile, clean and cut 4 potatoes into equal size pieces.
Add the potatoes and 4 cups of chicken broth. If you are a vegetarian, add 4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Blend with an immersion blender. If you do not have one of these nifty gadgets, you can use a blender. Blend in batches and return to pot.
Remove pot from heat add one cup of cream and stir. You can make a lighter version by adding 1/2 a cup cream & 1/2 a cup milk. If you like it creamier, you can add more.
Cut some chives.
Season with white pepper and add chives as garnish to the soup, and that’s it!
1 medium size deep pot or dutch oven
an immersion stick blender or blender
4 – 5 leeks
4 small to medium sized potatoes
4 cups chicken broth, or water if you are a vegetarian
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup of cream, or 1/2 a cup of cream & 1/2 a cup of milk. If you like it creamier, you can add up to 2 cups cream.
Take 4-5 well rinsed leeks and slice the white part thinly. It’s ok if you slice a bit into the green part. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and add the sliced leeks. Saute for a few minutes until they just start to brown, but don’t brown them. Now add the cut potatoes and 4 cups chicken broth or water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for approximately 30 – 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Blend with an immersion stick, or if you don’t have one, you can use a blender. Blend in batches and return to pot. Be careful not to burn yourself. It’s happened to me on a few occasions, when using a blender. If you want to make your soup with an even finer texture, at this point you can pour the soup through a strainer. Again, make sure not to burn yourself. I don’t bother with this step. Now add 1 cup of cream, or if you like 1/2 a cup of cream and 1/2 a cup of milk, or 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk, or , you get the idea. It’s not a science, it’s all a matter of taste. This soup is to be served chilled, but frankly, I like it warm. Serves 6, Enjoy!