Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
This will be one of your favorite soup recipes. So smooth and creamy! This
recipe was adapted from
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. Don't try asking for a Vichyssoise in France, you'll get puzzled
looks as it is an American soup.
History has it that King Louis XV of France (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774) accidentally invented vichyssoise. The paranoid King loved his comforting potato
soup and had it for dinner quite often. He was always worried that someone was trying to poison him and demanded that a number of servants taste his food
before he ate it. King Louis’ favorite recipe for potato soup was often passed from one servant to another. By the time it finally reached the King, it was
cold. King Louis decided he preferred potato soup cold.
1903: There is a recipe in Escoffier's Guide Culinaire in
1903 for Puree Parmentier, a French-style cream of leek and potato soup. And
even father back in history, a recipe for Leek and Potato Soup appears in Jules
Gouffe's 1869 Royal Cookery Book. The major difference, though, is that both
Escoffier's and Gouffe's potato soups were served hot.
1917: Vichyssoise (Vee-she-su-waa-ze) soup
is generally accepted as being created by Chef Louis Diat (1885-1957). Diat
worked at Ritz hotels in Long, Paris, and New York. While chef of New York's
Ritz Carlton, he created the cold leek and potato soup know as Vichyssoise. In
the days before air conditioning, the Ritz had a Japanese roof garden and Diat
was constantly on the lookout for dishes that would cool his customers in the
sultry July and August weather. He remembered the simple bourgeois hot leek an
potato soup his mother, Annette Alajoinine Diat, had made when he was a boy in Montmarault
in Central France and how he and his family had cooled he soup by adding milk to
it. And so on the rooftop of the Ritz, he prepared this same cold soup and
called it "creme vichyssoise" after the famous spa located 20 miles from his home town of
Bourbonnaise, as a tribute to the fine cooking of the region. Diat served this soup during the colder seasons, he did
not include it in the menu, but so many people asked for it, in 1923, Diat
placed it on the menu fulltime. Louis Diat told the New Yorker magazine in 1950:
In the summer
of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven
years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup
of my childhood which my mother and grandmother
used to make. I recalled how during the summer
my older brother and I used to cool it off by
pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I
resolved to make something of the sort for the
patrons of the Ritz.
1940s: During World War II some patriotic
chefs tried to change the name to "Creme Gauloise Glacee" because in
1940, a government collaborating with the Nazis was set up in the
French town of Vichy.
More of Linda's great
Soup, Stew, and Chili Recipes.
Vichyssoise - Leek Soup Recipe
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 60 min
2 leeks, peeled and sliced
1/2 small white
1 tablespoon butter
3 small (2 1/2 cups)
2 cups good-quality vegetable or chicken broth
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Snipped chives for garnish
Trim and clean leeks (see below); thinly slice the white portion.
Cut and clean leeks - You need to thoroughly clean a leek because dirt can become trapped in its many layers. Trim the
root portion right above the base (cutting too far up the stalk will remove
the part that holds the layers together). Slice off the fibrous green tops,
leaving only the white-to-light green stalk; discard greens. Cut the leek in
half lengthwise, then cut according to your recipe (slice, chop or dice).
In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the
leeks, onions, and butter until tender. Stir in potatoes, vegetable or chicken broth, and salt. Increase heat and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer
for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, puree cooled mixture until smooth. The soup can be made 1 to 2 days in
advance up until this stage. Refrigerate until ready to finish.
When ready to serve, return mixture to soup pot. Stir in milk and
cream; cook over low heat, another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
NOTE: Thin to desired consistency with the milk. Remove from heat and serve in soup bowls; garnish with chives.
This soup can be served either hot or
Makes 6 to 8 servings.