Classic Vichyssoise. Potato leek soup. Not French.

VichyssoiseA disappointing Summer Corn Soup got me thinking about Vichyssoise, a cold potato leek soup that my parents were fond of making when I was young. To my 9-year old mind it was the very apotheosis of French sophistication, a cool, silky delight that seemed to be a great effort to make. I was wrong on both counts. Vichyssoise was invented at the Ritz Hotel in New York City, and the soup is dead easy to prepare. They used Julia Child’s classic recipe from Mastering the Art of French cooking, and so do I – difficulty really is a matter of perspective.

Both potatoes and leeks came from Red Wagon Organic Farm.

Classic Vichyssoise

  1. 3 cups peeled potatos, rough dice
  2. 3 cups leeks, cleaned and sliced thin
  3. 1 1/2 quarts good light chicken stock
  4. 1/2 – 1 cup heavy cream
  5. 2 tsp minced chives
  6. salt, white pepper

Simmer vegetables in stock until tender, about 45 minutes. PureƩ vegetables and pass through a chinois or fine sieve. Stir in cream, and season with salt and white pepper. Conventional wisdom (Julia) suggests slightly oversalting, because this a cold dish. Chill well and serve in chilled cups and garnish with chives.

The fine sieve step and use of white pepper are affectations – the soup will taste equally wonderful even marred with lumps and unsightly black pepper.


Red Wagon Organic Farm

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