Vichyssoise

Unfortunately I have no photos to share with you on this beautiful creamy yet refreshing soup – I served it as a starter at a dinner party the other night, and you know how hectic that can be when you have a house full of people and your concentrating on preparing all your dishes, the last thing you think about is taking a photo…at least that is the last thing I think about! Maybe that means I’m not and will never be a great food blogger, but so be it! The quality of the food is more important than the picture!

It is a soup that is meant to be served ice-cold, and although it can be served warm as well, I feel that it loses that refreshing lightness which I love. I actually served it as a starter before the boeuf bourguignon – and everyone seemed to really enjoy it, even ‘C’ loved it who generally does not believe that soup should ever be served cold.

There is a lot of debate surrounding the origins of Vichyssoise – despite its French sounding name, many culinary historians including Julia Child, claim that it is in fact an American creation, created by the head chef at the Ritz-Carlton New York in 1917, who was a Frenchman called Louis Diat. Apparently Chef Diat was preparing the menu for the opening of the new roof-garden in the hotel and had decided to serve his mother’s potato and leek soup. As it was a particularly warm day and with a touch of culinary creativity he decided to add some cream and serve the soup cold instead, sprinkled with chives. He called it Creme Vichyssoise Glacee in honour of the town where he was born. Or at least this is one strory…

Nevertheless, Vichyssoise was born and has graced the table of many fantastic restaurants and homes every since. Unfortunately it is a soup that had its hay-day in the 1960’s and 70’s and it may even sound or come across as slightly dated today – but I think it is high time for the revival of this luscious soup and this is exactly what I attempt to do here!

It is time to bring back a classic!

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 medium leeks chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 7 dl (700ml) chicken stock
  • 5 dl (500ml) milk
  • 2.5 dl single cream
  • Chives, diced for decoration (I actually used Thyme and it worked just as well)

Method

Melt butter and fry leeks and onions golden (not brown). Add potatoes and chicken stock and boil until the potatoes are soft, roughly 30 mins

Cool a little, then liquidise in a blender until it is really soft and smooth.

Heat the milk until it starts to bubble by the side of the pot and then stir it into the
pure. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate for at least 2 or 3 hours as the soup has to be very cold – I prefer to do it the night before, so that I
don’t have to think or worry about it on the day of a party.

Before serving add the cream and stir it thoroughly. Serve with chives and freshly cracked black pepper.

Note: If you wish just to make a traditional leek and potato soup or if you have anyone coming to dinner that is lactose intolerant, like my friend who came to dinner is, just do not add the cream or milk.

One thought on “Vichyssoise

  1. It looks like another of my old recipes has found their way into your kitchen…. Well done and I am glad that your guests liked it.

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