The origin of the famous classic soup, vichyssoise (vĭsh'ç-swäz) is questionable, however, a French chef working at the Ritz in the early 1900’s is generally credited. It is said that Louis Diat created the recipe from memories of his childhood when it was hot outside and he and his brother would add cold milk to his mother’s potato and leek soup to chill it. He named it after Vichy, a city in France near his birthplace. Whatever its origins, vichyssoise is delicious either hot or cold.
Traditional Vichyssoise is a smooth and creamy soup containing butter, leeks, onions, cream, chicken stock, and potatoes. It is pureed before serving and topped with chives or parsley for garnish. It is elegant enough to serve company, yet hearty enough to serve as a simple dinner with crusty bread and salad.
Leeks have long been a mainstay ingredient in Europe, but have just recently become a common vegetable in most major grocery stores in the US. When preparing leeks, it’s important to remember that they contain grit and sand; slice them in half horizontally and rinse well before slicing. Generally, only the white parts of the leeks are used, as in this soup.
The following recipe for Shortcut Vichyssoise uses the versatile Basic Cream Soup Mix and leftover mashed potatoes. It is delicious served cold, as it is traditionally served, but in cold months, it is also delicious served hot. When there are leftover mashed potatoes, this is a great way to use them.
3 to 4 cups leeks (about 1 bunch)
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups basic Cream Soup Mix
5 cups water
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
Chives, or parsley for garnish
- Cut the leeks lengthwise, rinse well, and slice the white parts only.
- Chop the onion.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add the leeks and onions.
- Sauté until they are soft, being careful that they don’t brown; add the salt and pepper.
- Whisk in the cream soup mix and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- Transfer the mixture to the bender, in batches, and blend until smooth.
- Return it to the soup pot and whisk in the mashed potatoes.
- Heat over medium heat; pour in the heavy cream and heat through.
- Serve hot or refrigerate until well-chilled sprinkled with chives or parsley.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 203
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 56% Protein 11% Carb. 33%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 23 g
Saturated Fat 14 g
Cholesterol 74 mg
Sodium 810 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 10 g
Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 14% Calcium 0% Iron 6%