Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.
I’m a caregiver and my patient asked if I can cook her vichyssoise soup…i found your recipe cause it sounds the best among I’ve read…I followed everything what’s in this recipe and it turned out to be unbelievably delicious..my patient eats it every dinner for 3 weeks …and stopped for 2 weeks and now I’m cooking it again..This is my first time to cook it and I thank you so much for sharing this recipe for me and my patient friends and family to enjoy…I will never change anything about this recipe…a million thanks to you Elise and I will try some of recipes when I’m not busy…
Wonderful, Arlyne, thank you so much for your comment! I’m delighted that your patient likes it so much.
a) This simple potage is a very old French peasant soup made to use up old leeks and potatoes in the farmhouses across rural France where it was called Potage Pamentier (translated it simply means soup made with potatoes) and used stock from the Pot au Feu that was always bubbling on the farmhouse stove, and milk rather than cream.
b) It was popularised in France when the Royal chefs of Louis XV renamed it Vichysiose because ‘potage’ was considered too common and vulgar a peasant food to be served to the king. When those chefs became jobless after the revolution and the aristocracy had either been guillotined or fled the country, they began opening their own bistrots and restaurants, serving dishes such as this to the commoners.
c) It is definitely not an American invention, whatever Julia Childs claimed, since King Louis XV died in 1774, and Lois XV1 was guillotined in 1793, when America was only just beginning!
d) Vichyssoise is still served today in French bistrots and restaurants in Paris, and all over the country. I should know because, until recently, I lived there, and as recently as 3 weeks ago I was enjoying a big bowl of Vichysoise with my French family, in a popular bistro in Montmartre, Paris, where it was simply on menu as ”Le potage du jour, orsoup of the day .
Lastly, there are nearly identical recipes for leek and potato soups in countless old/peasant recipe books, from every European country.
Thank you for filling out more of the history of this fabulous soup Christiane! Yes, the origin of the name appears to be somewhat murky. Have you seen it on a menu in France with the name, “vichyssoise”? My French friends tell me no. If the soup appears, it is simply presented as a chilled potato soup. In any case, it’s a delicious soup, especially for hot days!
Delicious!!! Directions are straightforward and easy to follow. Ran it through a fine sieve and the results were a silky, velvety, delicious soup. It is better the next day, giving the flavors time to meld.
How is this a lighter recipe? Can veg version use veg broth? I add watercress to mine. Tastes about the same but +nutrition and +bright green.
It was sooo very easy to make. Followed directions exactly & added condensed chicken stock (1 packet) & also used some home made chicken stock. Don’t add salt until stock is blended well as the condensed stock has a lot of salt. It was delicious!
I’m so glad you liked the soup Kimberly!
I wrote in April that I would soon be making this for the first time, and today I did. It’s very good indeed and in August I will make a double batch as the first course of a dinner party for about 15 people, although this single batch is very generous for “six to eight” so maybe a batch-and-a-half would make more sense. I disregarded the directions to use tiny amounts of sour cream and heavy cream and substituted two whole, big, fat cups of heavy cream. And since most recipes suggest a little pepper, I used 1/4 teaspoon (only that much) of white pepper and I substituted 1 1/2 teaspoons regular salt for the 2 teaspoons of the very fashionable but chemically-identical Kosher salt. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. And I did use the crank-type food mill but it took a long time and required constant scraping of the food down into the blades, so I can understand why all recipes, including this one, specify a blender and not a crank-operated mill.
I’ve never made vichyssoise but I’ve surfed the net and this recipe is the most useful, as it specifies measurements while other recipes are vague. I’m going to make it for my family exactly as directed and if it’s as good as it looks in the recipe, I’ll be making a double batch for a group of about 15 dinner guests in the heat of August. I have a French style food mill (you turn a crank and blades force the mixture through a sieve) which I’m sure will give results as good as from a blender. And I WILL serve it just below room temperature and not straight from the fridge.
My first taste of vichyssoise was on my honeymoon in Aruba 27 years ago. It was served in a ice bowl, and I believe the chef dropped the entire salt container in his pot of soup. It was incredibly salty, even for this salt loving person! Even so, I could taste how good the soup could have been if it was not made with water from the ocean. I have not had it since (I had forgotten about it) and am so looking forward to making it – I wish I had remembered this soup while my husband was still alive – we would have gotten a good chuckle out of it. Thank you for reminding me of those memories. P.S. We share the same last name :)
Greetings from Slovakia. I have been a regular visitor of this web site for years now and this recipe is a true gem. Thank you.
One thing to add that gives it an extra kick is Gold caviar!
I really love vichyssoise and it’s something you cannot find — you have to make it yourself. This recipe is fantastic. I have made it multiple times and it has turned out great every time. It keeps for days, and is still flavorful on the third day as the first. One of the things I really love is how simple it is to remember the ingredients. I’ll be in the supermarket and see fresh leeks, which reminds me of this soup, and I remember the rest of the ingredients easily — golden potatoes, chicken broth, sour cream and heavy cream. Simple! Yes, I forget the onion, but who doesn’t have a bag of onions around?! Using golden potatoes does make a difference. I’ve tried this recipe with other types, and it’s just not the same. Try this recipe. You’ll like it!
Thank you for this recipe! I made it on Saturday and have been enjoying it since. I was with a friend and we made 3 of your recipes- Vichyssoise, Gazpacho and Zucchini Cake! All three recipes were incredible (as I knew they would be).
I’m so glad you liked the recipes! ~Elise
Twenty or so years ago at the swanky Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami Beach, a United States Senator, two Congressmen, an ambassador, and a couple of other high ego types were at our luncheon table for eight when my prankster pal complained loudly, “My potato soup is cold.” The fellow next to him harrumphed and hissed, “It’s supposed to be.” Laughing and choking, I asked to be excused from the table. The dish has forever since been called, “Tom’s Soup” in our household. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll try it this weekend.
I have lost my copy of Adele Davis, but happily, I saw it on Amazon the other day.Plan to buy a copy when I visit the US next time.But I have never forgotten her recipes and her Introductions to recipes , like calling bread pudding Duty pudding as she and her sisters had to make it, when the bread got stale, every week etc etc. What fun!
…and yes, many are scared to skin the feet but they do come off easily, like socks! and of course, my dogs were waiting to be given their share too. Happiness all around, thanks to soup-making !
Yum! Making this for lunch today, because it’s really hot now in central Florida!! I don’t have any leaks on hand, so I left those out but added celery and summer squash. Also using sour cream but using lowfat milk instead of heavy cream. Yes, I know, it won’t be quite as rich, but I was looking for something a little lighter. And it’s so thick with just the veggies (the blended mix is cooling now) that I don’t think the lesser amount of fat will be an issue. This is a keeper, as usual from this site. Thanks Elise!
I am from Bangalore,India where Western cooking is well-known.I love leek and potato soup so much and first learnt it from Adele Davis’ famous cook book which I got as a gift from my husband , who was Manager of a book store. [Showroom copies were not meant for sale ,and so naturally they came to me if I was interested .]How I love that book…and the soups there.
I bought free chicken legs for stock (Ms.Davis advises buying a whole lot and making delicious and cheap stock. No chicken legs are not dirty.When the outer skin ius removed they are very clean, I assure you! )I served it hot, with croutons. That was long ago.I wonder whether I could digest this fab.soup now,as I am old.
Its no fun without the cream !
Hi Iris. My mother learned how to cook from her Adele Davis cookbook. She still refers to the battered old copy. We often make stock from chicken feet; it’s so packed with gelatin. How fun to hear that you’ve had similar experiences all the way from Bangalore! ~Elise
I’ve got the leeks and potatoes just waiting for this recipe to show up. I’m wondering whether the potato-leek base could be frozen, then the dairy added to the thawed base before serving?
Good question. Don’t know the answer. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
A bit of thyme is nice with it!
try it with a shot of vermouth in the final product. that’s how I learned to make it in cooking school, and it’s a wonderful addition. also, where’s the nutmeg?
One of my childhood memories growing up in Jersey City, NJ was my mother’s vichyssoise.
She made it mostly in the summer and used Campbells frozen potato soup as the base. It was terrific. Since Campbell no longer makes this soup, I used as a starter a recipe from “The Complete Book Of Soups and Stews” as noted. I altered it based on the recipe I had from my mother. It turned pretty darn good. Enjoy! By the way,This same soup served warm is called Potage Parmentier
Vichyssoise or Potage Parmentier Tom Landshof Aug. 2006
(Modified from The Complete Book of Soups & Stews by B. Clayton)
4 large potatoes, about 1½ pounds, peeled and sliced
5 cups chicken stock
4 large leeks
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 white onion, sliced
4 Tbs. butter
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup milk
½ tsp. white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley, to garnish
1. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, celery and onions. Sauté a few minutes, then reduce heat, cover and sweat them till tender.
2. Put the sliced potatoes in a heavy 4 quart saucepan or soup kettle. Add chicken stock and simmer till potatoes are done. Don’t over cook. (I throw in a few celery leaves if they look good for added flavor.)
3. Add vegetable mix to potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree in batches and return to pot.
4. Add cup of milk. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add more pepper and salt as needed to your taste. Add cream, blend, and chill.
5. Serve very cold. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley
Note: Use the white of the leek plus about 1½ inches of the green to give the soup a pleasant off-white shading. Split the leeks lengthwise and wash thoroughly to remove all traces of grit and sand for which leeks are notorious. Slice thinly after washing.