- Dish type
- Vegetable soup
This wonderful, smooth, cold soup can be garnished with a very few finely chopped chives or even a little curry powder. It originated in New York City at the Ritz-Carlton, by French chef Louis Diat, who named the soup after his local town.
78 people made this
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 30g (1 oz) butter
- 1 medium potato, thinly sliced
- 500ml (17 fl oz) chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 250ml (12 fl oz) double cream
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min
- Gently saute the chopped leeks and the chopped onion in butter until soft, about 8 minutes. Do NOT brown.
- Add potatoes and stock to the saucepan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
- Puree in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Cool. Gently stir in the cream before serving.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(80)
Reviews in English (60)
So quick n easy, with little ingredients but has a really great taste....only problem is waiting for it to cool!!-14 Jun 2009
by M Styles
Used different ingredients.This was a great starting point. (Recipes exist to get ideas, not to follow.) I like vichyssoise, but am always a bit disappointed in the blandness. I added a clove of garlic and half cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, lovage, oregano, majoram, savory, thyme, basil and a lot of chives). I garnished with more chives and fresh cracked pepper.-24 Jul 2008
by Sous Andy
Just had gum surgery and my wife made this for me. Excellent. My wife even made herself a non-pureed batch without the cream and she loved it. Thanks.-24 Jul 2008
Vichyssoise Recipe | Cook the Book
While I was in college, I had a roommate who I thought was the epitome of class. She was a few years older than me and a pretty great cook. Looking back, her meals were pretty basic—dijon and herb-roasted chicken, popovers, a mixed greens salad with a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, but to my inexperienced 18-year-old palate this stuff was pretty fancy and way out of my realm of experience. The dinners that she made (usually to woo potential male suitors) were not complicated but they were classy and a pretty effective aphrodisiac (she always got the guy).
One of her go-to recipes has moved into my own repertoire over the years. The first time I had her vichyssoise I was blown away. Up until that point my experience with cold soups was limited to a few bowls of gazpacho. This vichyssoise was like nothing I had ever tasted before—it was probably my first encounter with the delicate oniony flavor of leeks. I am pretty sure my roommate's version was made with at least a quart of heavy cream. Not the healthiest version, but incredibly rich and wonderful.
Carol Gelles lightens the recipe up a bit with her version of vichyssoise from 100 Best Vegetarian Recipes. Vegetable stock takes the place of most of the traditional cream, and the soup is finished with slightly less fattening half-and-half. If you've never made vichyssoise, give it a shot. It's a simple and very classy way to begin a summer meal.
I don't often serve soups during the summer months, but this is one exception because it is meant to be served very cold. Make this ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
1 Place all ingredients for soup in a large pot and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are very soft, about 1 hour. Blend until smooth. Chill.
2 Garnish with chopped parsley or chives. Serve very cold.
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- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 pounds leeks (8 to 10 medium), white and light green parts sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (3 to 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more for serving
- 1 cup whole milk
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Chopped fresh chives, for serving
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat add leeks and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, broth, and 1 cup water season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a blender and purée until smooth, adding more liquid as needed. Transfer to a large bowl whisk in 1 cup cream, milk, and nutmeg season with salt.
Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream, then ladle into bowls and serve drizzled with more cream. Sprinkle with chives and pepper before serving.
Made with fat-free half and half. I followed the recommendation of another recipe and strained the soup, processing the solids, then returning to the liquid. Texture was terrific.
Good Lord, that was splendid! I always thought that potatoes and leeks together sounded so boring but WOW! After blending it was so delicious I could not wait for it to cool, so I added some sour cream to cool it down and nearly polished off the entire pot myself. Nutmeg was perfect. Sour cream was great because it added a hint of sourness.
As Moniah reports, this is an invention created in New York by a very French chef, Louis Diat, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Adding cream or milk to potato leak soup was genius, but probably not unique. One thing he was not was desperate.
Love this recipe, but hard for me to imagine so many typos on a professional website. Need a proofreader? Email me.
Off-the-hook terrific! I love recipes that are simple and make me look like a brilliant cook. This is one of those recipes. It's become a go-to crowd pleaser.
One of my favorite cold soups, I used Yukon Gold potatoes for extra color and flavor. Magnificent.
I used Yukon Gold potatoes for a slight variation, and their added flavor and color altered this wonderful soup magically. Many other potatoes of color (not sweet potatoes!) would work also.
We have made this recipe many times in the summer right after our potato harvest. I use homemade chicken stock and also thin a little with saved potato water. We use half and half instead of heavy cream. Yum!
I make a surprise soup for a group of friends every Saturday, so today I made this. Wow, is it good! I had never cooked leeks before, so I did a little research. Use leeks about 1-1/2" in diameter. Cut lengthwise to clean thoroughly. I cut into 1/4s because the recipe wanted 1" cuts. I think it's pretty easy to tell when to stop cutting--the green gets thick and doesn't look like a scallion any more. I used olive oil instead of butter and cooked the potatoes in the stock (why waste the vitamin-rich potato water?). I agree with the person who said the soup was too thick. I added a bit extra stock and--as it will be in the refrigerator until tomorrow--will no doubt add some more. I read elsewhere that vichyssoise doesn't need that much cream, so I plan to start with a couple tablespoons and see (my friends and I are over 70 and hold back on the fat).
As "mycophile" correctly observed, Vichyssoise is American, created in New York by a clever/desperate chef. It is a take off on the French Potage Parmentier, composed of potatoes, leeks, bouquet garni, stock and heavy cream. Epicurious should give American credit for this fabulous cold soup!
Used this recipe as a base to use up left over mashed potatoes from a dinner party. It turned out great! Used the Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes on this site .. which are very good in their own right. Served it as an appetizer in fancy wine glasses.
Although listed as French cuisine, this cold soup is of well documented American origin. Even Julia Child recognized this.
Just finished making this. They say "add to taste" and mine was: 1 TBL Sour Cream and 2 TBLS Heavy Cream to 1 cup of the mixture. Nutmeg a must. So good just ate a cup full unchilled. Chilling now (me and it.) 1 Cup = another 30 minutes on my racquetball game, but worth it! Try it. Racquetball and this Vichyssoise! Very good recipe and the leeks in the stores are beautiful right now. - Carol Porter (I review cookbooks and write a recipe column for almost a living:) at http://www.macon.com/cookbookfarm/
My wife and I are following the South Beach diet and so I substituted cauliflower for potatoes. I also used fat-free half and half in place of heavy cream. All other ingredients were added as specified. It was an experiment, but to our delight, it was wonderful! Such a refreshing low-carb treat on a hot summer day!
This soup is exquisite! Whether cold as vichyssoise is served, or hot it's always great. I think though that the addition of sour or heavy cream is not at all needed.The soup is enough "heavy" with the rest of the ingredients, so why make it more fattening?
Very good soup but very thick, I had to add broth. It might be because I used the wihte and the green of the leeks. I wasn't mention in the recipe.
This soup is delicious. I always cook the potatoes in a separate pot as it keeps the soup from tasting starchy.
Excellent! I used all the ingredients but like others, did it in one pot. Sauteed leeks until tender, added potatoes, then added stock and simmered for 30 min. I then used hand blender to puree. Easy!
My mom used to make this in the summer for us, and I've always loved it. When she passed away, I searched endlessly to find the right recipe and was so pleased to discover this is the one! Velvety (if strained through cheesecloth),savory, beautiful- it is a lovely dish!
I pretty much stuck to the letter of this recipe, except I used fat free half and half instead of cream, and used a dollop of plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream when serving. I am not an experienced cook, though, so was not sure whether potatoes were to be peeled before they were cooked -- the answer is YES (had to look this up in other online recipes). Leeks were sold at the market in bunches of 5 (about 1" diameter), so I only used 5 and I used only the tender parts (no dark greens). The soup was delicious, not at all bland, and everyone at the Bastille Day dinner loved it -- all bowls were emptied. I would definitely make this again.
I wasnt sure how many leeks to use since there was a lot of size variation in the ones I had. I used one 1.5 inch diameter leek and 3 skinner (about 3/4 inch diameter) all together. I followed another reviewers suggestion to boil the potatoes in the broth to save a pot. The soup came out great, although I have only tasted it warm so far, not chilled. I ended up adding 1 T salt for seasoning and some white pepper. Delicious!
This was really good on its own, but for my bachelorette party, I added a large shallot, bay leaf, thyme, and marjoram and substituted white pepper for black. After chilling, I used fat-free half-and-half to thin the soup to the proper consistency and then garnished each serving with 1/2 a teaspoon of sour cream and minced chives. It looked and tasted beautiful!
I followed the recipe as stated, with the exception of the cream which I left out. It was still most successful, and very delicious.
I changed the order in which I cooked the ingredients so that I could make it all in one pot. I sauteed the leeks (I added a couple cloves of minced garlic also) in the soup pot. Then, I removed them from the pot and put them aside. I cooked the potatoes in the chicken stock until they were done, then added back all but 1/4 of the amount of the leeks. I blended everything together with a hand blender, and added the cream and seasonings. After returning the soup to a simmer, I added the remaining leeks and the chives as a garnish. I have also made this soup as a full meal. I sauteed some diced chicken breast in the pot and removed it before cooking the potatoes. Then after blending the soup, I added the chicken, the garnishes, and about a cup of frozen corn. The soup always turns out a pretty, light green color because I do use the lighter green, tender parts of the leeks.
My wife and I really enjoyed this. We only had 1 leek left and it still tasted pretty darn good. We've had this in restaurants and this is the first time we've tried making it ourselves. The taste is spot on!
Unless you hate to dance, how could you resist a recipe that promises to “make you click your heels and shout ole”?
This lively claim for Spanish-style baked fish appeared in a little book called “Chicken Soup to Nuts” produced by the Sisterhood of Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood. There’s no publication date, but the book sold for $3.50, which indicates that it was released a long time ago.
Paging through old cookbooks published by women’s organizations is more fun than reading novels. Along with recipes, they offer tender memories of families and friends, historical insights, unassuming humor, inspirational tidbits, practical advice--even poetry.
It’s like peeping into other people’s lives, at least the parts of their lives that revolved around the kitchen and dining room. The bonus is access to treasured family recipes, set down in print for what was probably the first and only time.
Think of the traditions represented by Old Aunt’s Cookies, Grandmother’s Chocolate Cake, Aunt Jessie’s Boiled Salad Dressing, Grace’s Wedding Cake and Mother Hughes’ English Mincemeat.
You can almost smell the aroma of baking bread while reading Kia Lund’s recollections of baking day in Kodiak, Alaska. In “Joys of Ethnic Cooking,” an undated book from the Los Angeles Orthodox Club, she wrote: “In Alaska we did things from scratch, and our kitchen smelled so good from the beginning of the yeast until the last smell of fresh baked bread went out the window.”
In that same book, Raisa N. Baldwin of Glendale praised Aunt Kia’s rhubarb crisp. Could that have been the same Kia? Baldwin also contributed an invigorating tea and Bourbon punch. “When my husband was stationed in England during World War II, a general gave him this recipe to warm up his men after their long flights,” she wrote. One can picture the exhausted pilots returning from harrowing missions to a bracing cup of this brew.
The Orthodox Club was linked to the Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and its cookbook contained what purported to be an orthodox recipe for beef stroganoff. The secret was to soak the meat overnight in Port.
“From Noodles to Strudels,” published by the Beverly Hills chapter of Hadassah in 1972, provided a venue for an unnamed limerick writer. A recipe for a simple quiche made with white bread, processed American cheese, eggs, milk and butter started with this ditty:
“It was my turn to bring the main dish
And I thought that this was delish--
But my dear family spied it
And the pot that I brought held gornisht!”
(Gornisht is Yiddish for nothing.)
The “Pi Beta Phi Cook Book,” published by the Los Angeles Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi in 1936, is spattered brown throughout, showing that it had heavy use. Inside the front cover is a recipe for hot rolls, neatly written in pencil. Because everyone in that era knew how to make rolls, the instructions were simply, “Combine and beat hard.”
Older books sometimes listed ingredients in terms of price rather than quantity. To make Leta Schreiber Gosden’s Christmas salad from the Pi Beta Phi book, you needed 10 cents worth of cinnamon candies. These were boiled with sugar and water to make a spicy red syrup for poaching whole peeled apples. The apples were then stuffed with cream cheese and nuts.
Earlier books usually included housekeeping and cooking tips. “A little cooked tapioca will keep your souffles plump,” advised the Santa Barbara Junior League Cook Book published in 1939. “Did you ever try 1/2 teaspoon baking powder in your mashed potatoes?” asked the Philathea Cook Book compiled by the Philathea Class of First Methodist Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara in 1928. (The consequences of adding the baking powder were not revealed.)
“Don’t know why it is, but any dried bean dish with a dash of vinegar eliminates any . . . um . . . after effects,” appeared with a lentil soup recipe in “Hot or Cold, It Goes Out in the Morning,” compiled by the St. Martin of Tours Women’s Council. The soup included two tablespoons of wine vinegar.
Many of the books, including this one, omit a publication date, as if the compilers felt their work had no historical significance. Sometimes women’s fashions in sketches that illustrate a book offer a clue to its era. “Sharing Recipes” from the Sisterhood of Kehillath Israel Jewish Congregation of Pacific Palisades contains a 10-year Jewish holiday calendar that starts in 1982, indicating that it must have been published in the early ‘80s.
However, dates are plentiful in “The San Diego 200th Anniversary Cook Book” organized by the Del Cerro Junior Woman’s Club. Although the book was published in 1969, the recipes go back much further.
Ida Nasatir wrote about a fruited beef dish served to her family in Santa Ana “when cows roamed the now busy urban streets.” Mrs. Lyndon H. Osmundson explained that her meatball recipe “has been in our family since the ‘Good Old Days’ when we had ice delivered twice a week for our ice box.”
Edith Westmoreland provided an interesting literary note about lamb stew. She wrote: “At sheep-shearing time, on the ranch in San Diego County where Helen Hunt Jackson was staying gathering material for her book ‘Ramona,’ they made a stew enjoyed by the family, guests, ranch hands and sheep-shearers alike. A stew so delicious, she included it in her book.” Westmoreland gave two versions of the stew, one concocted by her mother, the other her own.
Cookbooks such as these were usually sold through the organizations that compiled them and not in bookstores. Most vanished within a few years of publication. Places to find them today are used bookstores thrift shops garage, rummage and library sales and the catalogs of specialists who deal in antiquarian cookbooks. The rewards are twofold: good home cooking and a good read.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 cups diced leek (about 3 large)
- 3 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- ⅔ cup half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauce-pan over medium-low heat. Add the diced leek cover and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in the diced potato and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cover the potato mixture, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender. Place the potato mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Place the potato mixture in a large bowl, and cool to room temperature. Stir in the half-and-half, salt, and black pepper. Cover and chill. Sprinkle soup with minced chives.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add potatoes and zucchini sauté 5 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Transfer soup to large bowl. Mix in half and half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Before serving, thin with additional broth, if necessary.
Ladle soup into bowl. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
How would you rate Zucchini Vichyssoise?
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced into half-moons, washed well and drained
- 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
- 3 cups cleaned watercress leaves, loosely packed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup buttermilk and 1 cup half-and-half)
Melt butter in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and cook, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.
Add potatoes, stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely stir in 2 cups watercress.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer pureed soup to a large bowl. Season with salt and white pepper. Stir in half-and-half, if using chill at least 1 hour. Add buttermilk just before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed. If necessary, thin the soup with a bit more chicken stock or water to achieve desired consistency. Garnish with remaining cup watercress leaves.
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (waxy variety), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 medium leeks (about 3 pounds, washed very well and sliced very thin, use white part only)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups chicken broth, water, or milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Garnish: 1 tablespoon fresh chives (finely chopped)
In a large pot over medium-low heat add the butter.
When melted, add the leeks and gently sweat (you don't want them to brown) until they are soft (about 5 minutes).
Add the potatoes and chicken broth, water, or milk. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
Simmer until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Add the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Do this in small batches (no more than half full) as the hot soup creates pressure and can spray out.
Return the soup to the pot and whisk in the cream. Stirring all the time, bring the soup to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes and remove from heat. If the soup is too thick, add a little water or broth.
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper.
Cool quickly to room temperature, cover with plastic, then refrigerate until chilled (preferably overnight).
Just before serving, sprinkle chives over the top.
Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients
Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.