My little sister hasn’t been feeling well lately, and getting her to eat anything has been a bit of a struggle. Today, I decided to make her some Vichyssoise—a cold potato leek soup. It’s smooth and easy on the stomach, which I hope will make it more appealing for her. I think it’s a good option to provide some nourishment without being too heavy. Fingers crossed she finds it comforting!
Vichyssoise soup recipe
Vichyssoise is a classic cold soup with a rich and creamy texture, typically made with leeks, potatoes, onions, chicken broth, and heavy cream. It’s a delightful dish served chilled, making it a refreshing choice, especially during the warmer months.
The vichyssoise recipe is not complex. I just need to simmer leeks, potatoes, and onions in chicken broth until tender, then purée the mixture and add heavy cream. This cold potato leek soup is served cold but I think a hot or warm soup would be better for my sister should. If you want to serve this French potato soup cold, allow it to cool slightly before refrigerating for at least 2 hours or until chilled.
Here is how to make vichyssoise:
- 3 leeks white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 cups potatoes peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth I used veggie broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chives chopped, for garnish
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add leeks and onions, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the soup to a blender in batches.
- Stir in the milk and heavy cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped chives before serving.
You can freeze Vichyssoise to make it cold faster or to make it last longer, but its texture may change slightly when thawing.
Origin and variations
The origins of vichyssoise started by the French chef Louis Diat in the early 20th century. He was inspired by his childhood potato and leek soup his mother used to make in the town of Vichy, France. He decided to put a twist on the traditional hot soup by serving it cold, and Vichyssoise was born. Its National Day is November 18.
Despite its French-inspired roots, vichyssoise has seen various interpretations and variations over the years. Some recipes may include additional ingredients such as herbs ( like thyme, chives, or dill ), sautéed mushrooms, curry powder, or vegetables (garlic, asparagus, shallots, cucumbers, or even leek tops).
Some recipes substitute sweet potatoes, zucchini, or cauliflower for regular potatoes. Vegetarian versions swap chicken broth for vegetable broth, while other variations add bacon and smoked salmon slices to the soup.
Whatever version, the vichyssoise soup’s adaptability has allowed it to endure as a timeless and elegant culinary creation.