The probable story of the origin of this soup is that it was created by French Louis Diat in the early 1900s as homage to the famous spa in Vichy near his hometown of Bourbonnaise. By adding milk and chilling the traditional hot leek and potato soup of his youth, Chef Diat created a new classic he originally called ” Crème Vichyssoise Glacce”.
What really is interesting, though, is Chef Diat created this classic soup while working at the Ritz Carlton Hotel…in New York City! It also withstood an angry mob of French chefs (in France this time) demanding the name be changed to “Crème Gauloise Glacce” because a Nazi sympathetic government was set in Vichy during WW II. Fascinating!
Vichyssoise – Cold Potato and Leek Soup
- Immersion blender or food processor
- 2 tbsp Unsalted European butter
- 2 Leeks, white and pale green part thinly sliced
- 1 Onion
- 1 lb Gold potato, cubed
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 2 cups Milk
- 1 cup Half and half
- 1 pinch White pepper
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 2 cups Good quality chicken broth
- ½ cup Chives, snipped/chopped for garnish
- Melt butter in heavy stockpot over medium heat. add leeks and onions and cook to transparent, 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, broth and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes.
- Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree. Add milk, light cream, salt, and white pepper. Process until blended and smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and chill for at least 4 hours.
- To serve, stir in heavy cream, adjust seasonings, and garnish with minced chives.
- Soup may be served warm by sitting serving bowl on the counter to cool slightly and not refrigerating.