Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise is a chilled leek and potato soup that was first introduced to Americans in the summer of 1917 by a French Chef at the Ritz Carlton in New York City as a way to help cool the patrons. It is best to serve the soup slightly chilled, but not cold, as the intensity of the flavor lessens as it gets colder. In the cooler months the same soup can be served hot and is very satisfying on a cold winter night.

Leeks

Leeks are notoriously sandy. The first step in making a Vichyssoise is to clean the leeks. Remove the root section from the leeks and most of the dark green section on the top and discard both. Cut the leeks lengthwise in half and either clean them as they are, or cut them into smaller (1-inch) pieces and soak them. Thoroughly soak and wash the leeks in a large bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks from the bowl to allow the sand to settle to the bottom. Pour out water, clean bowl and repeat several times to thoroughly wash all the sand from the leeks. Place the leeks in a strainer to drain off any water.

Vichyssoise

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: SoupsCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (about 2 1/2 cups) 

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

  • salt and white pepper to taste

  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives 

  • 1/4 cup crisp croutons

Directions

  • Thoroughly soak and wash the leeks in a large bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks from the bowl to allow the sand to settle to the bottom. Pour out water, clean bowl and repeat several times to thoroughly wash all the sand from the leeks. Place the leeks in a strainer to drain off any water.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter. Stir occasionally, allowing it to brown a little.
  • Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic, cook for 2 minutes and then add the leeks and cook for 4 more minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf and fresh thyme sprig. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Puree the soup with either an immersion blender or a regular household blender until smooth. 
  • Cool the soup slightly and return it to the blender. Add the heavy cream and creme fraîche/sour cream and blend until it is well combined. It is best to serve the soup slightly chilled, but not cold. 
  • Ladle the soup into the desired serving bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped chives and croutons.

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