A lighter version of the traditional vichyssoise chilled potato leek soup, with leeks and Yukon Gold potatoes.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes about 10 cups, serves 6 to 8


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4-5 cups sliced leeks, cleaned (see How to Clean Leeks), white and pale green parts only (from about 4 large leeks)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups water (vegetarian option), or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish


1 Heat butter until it begins to brown: In a large (6-quart) pot, heat the butter on medium high heat until it melts and foams up. Continue to heat until the foam subsides a little and the butter just begins to brown.

2 Sauté leeks and onions: Immediately toss in the sliced leeks and onions. Stir to coat with the butter. Cook for several minutes, reducing the heat to medium if necessary, until the leeks and onions are translucent and wilted.

vichhyssoise-method-3 vichhyssoise-method-4

3 Add potatoes, water or stock, salt, bring to simmer: Add the chopped potatoes, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Remove from heat.

4 Purée until smooth: Purée using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend in a blender. (Careful! With hot liquids only fill the blender 1/3 of the way full, and hold the blender top on with your hand while blending.) Purée until completely smooth.

If you want an even smoother soup, you can take the extra step of pressing the purée through a sieve with a rubber spatula.

5 Cool and stir in sour cream and whipped cream: Allow to cool a bit before stirring in the sour cream and whipped cream. Allow to cool completely and chill in the refrigerator. The soup should be served just below room temperature (maybe 65°F or 18°C). If it is too cold, it won't taste as good.

Add more salt to taste. Serve garnished with chopped fresh chives.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • James Zemboy

    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.


  • James Zemboy

    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.

  • Gabriele Bauer

    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 :)

  • Ľudovít

    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.

  • Brian Fuller

    One thing to add that gives it an extra kick is Gold caviar!

  • Leslie

    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!

  • Wendy

    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


  • Kiran

    Love potatoes and leek combo. I remember tasting a stir-fry combo of leeks, potatoes and chicken in a spicy sauce at PF Changs. So yummy :)

  • Aardvark

    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.

  • Iris Devadason

    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 !

  • Jackie

    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!

  • Iris devadason

    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

  • Jody Kinney

    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

  • tobias kocht!

    A bit of thyme is nice with it!

  • c

    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?

  • tom Landshof

    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.


  • Cady

    This seems like the perfect way to use the immersion blender I just got for my birthday!

    Elise, would the spring onions in my Crop Share basket work well in this? I’m worried their greens are too coarse.

    You mean in place of leeks? Perhaps. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Tina

    My potato soup recipe, inherited from my grandmother, is very similar. Grandma never knew what vichyssoise was, but she was practically making it at least once a week. The soup is made with almost equal parts chopped yellow onion and potatoes, cooked in salted water until the potatoes are starting to dissolve. the pan of potatoes and onions gets mashed, leaving some texture, add milk and butter, a bit of pepper and some fresh parsley and green onion tops (if you’re feeling fancy). The soup, served with really good buttered rye bread or pumpernickle, still makes me swoon.

  • Kathi Riley Smith

    When I make vichyssoise, I add a tiny bit of mace in the final seasoning. Something about the addition of mace to vichyssoise that makes it so perfect…

  • Judith

    Vichysoisse is a wonderful soup, and a meal in itself. (Served hot cooked with stock and no dairy it is called potage Bonne Femme.) Just don’t make the mistake I made once: the soup needs to be pureed while it is hot. If you wait until it cools, it becomes gummy and unappetizing. Potatoes are funny that way.

    Good point, thank you! ~Elise

  • rebecca h.

    Chilled soups are one of the joys of summer! I remember the first time I had one. My mum took me to a rather fancy lunch when I was about 16 and the restaurant was at the end of a steep uphill walk on an Australian summer day.

    The chilled cauliflower soup leaped off the menu in our heated state, and it was so good, I don’t remember the rest of the meal at all.

  • Jennie M

    What a great recipe! I love soup but with the heat of summer, hot soup doesn’t exactly give that same “cozy” effect and I’m not really a gazpacho kinda girl, so this is PERFECT! Our farmer’s market is this Saturday…I know I’ll be picking up a few things.

    I keep forgetting to ask you, where did you find those awesome flower bowls? I googled and googled but couldn’t find any just like them.

    They’re Limoge ceralene porcelain (“marly” pattern, melon bowl). I bought a couple at a china store closeout a few years ago. Pretty, aren’t they? :-) ~Elise