Although ‘Vichyssoise’ is a very French-sounding name, this leek and potato soup evidently has its roots in America. There are a few different theories of where the soup originated, but I rather like the one about the French chef, Louis Diat, who had been working at the Ritz-Carlton in New York for a number of years, when he served Vichyssoise for the first time in the summer of 1917. It was a variation of one of his childhood favorites, leek and potato soup.
Vichyssoise is an elegant, smooth, full bodied and subtly-flavored soup that is generally served cold. It is quick and easy to make, with a few basic, relatively inexpensive ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 large leeks, washed and sliced, approximately 2 cups
- 1 celery stick, sliced
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced, about 1 pound or 2 cups
- 4 cups chicken stock or light broth
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- cream and chopped chives for garnish
- Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the leeks and celery.
- Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes and mix in the potato.
- Add the stock and heat to boiling point.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Liquidize with an immersion blender or in batches in a liquidizer.
- Add a little salt and pepper and stir in the cream.
- Chill if serving cold, or heat through and serve hot.
- Adjust the flavoring and garnish with a swirl of cream and chopped chives.