The Vichyssoise soup is a versatile dish, as it can be served both hot and cold. Originally, it is made of pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock. Nevertheless, vegetarians can also enjoy this lovely soup if they replace the chicken stock to vegetable stock.
The soup’s origins are debated by food historians. Some believe it is a French dish; others regard it as an “American invention”. Most often, Louis Diat, a French chef of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City is credited with the soup’s recipe or at least with its re-invention based on childhood memories of a similar soup he enjoyed when growing up in France.
When the soup first appeared on the menu of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in 1917, it was called “Crème Vichyssoise Glacée”. Later, from the 1930s onwards, it was simply referred to as “Vichy”. Today, its is most often called “Vichyssoise”. It sounds very elegant, doesn’t it?
I came across the recipe of the Vichyssoise soup when I attended an intermediary cookery course at the Ashburton Cookery School in the United Kingdom. The soup we prepared at the course under the guidance of professional chefs was of restaurant quality, both by taste and look. It’s an easy but very impressive dish, in my opinion.
The original recipe of the Ashburton Cookery School contains chicken stock. I changed it to vegetable stock when I became vegetarian. In my opinion, it is equally delicious. I would recommend trying this fabulous recipe either way, according to your taste.
- 25 gram butter
- 100 gram onion (finely chopped)
- 200 gram leek (finely sliced)
- 150 gram potato (peeled and finely chopped)
- 500 millilitre vegetable stock (preferably home made or organic packaged)
- 50 millilitre double cream
- Salt according to taste
- Pepper according to taste
- Handful of chives (finely chopped)
- Melt the butter and seat the leeks and onions until softened.
- Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir constantly and add a little stock occasionally to keep topped up to the 500-millilitre level while it simmers.
- When the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, allow the soup to cool slightly and then liquidise the soup until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve.
- Add the double cream and adjust the consistency with a little more stock if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the chopped chives.
Once you prepared the soup, serve it either hot or cold. Don’t forget to decorate with finely chopped chives to get the restaurant-look!