Potato Leek Soup or Vichyssoise
Great soup for hot or cold weather!
Delicious Potato Leek Soup
Hearty potato leek soup recipe
In the winter months, this thick, heavy, rich soup sticks to the ribs and will warm you all the way to your toes. It is a perfect soup for cold days, after skating or skiing, or simply when the winter wind seems to be getting in through the cracks around the window and door frames of your house. The aroma when it is cooking will fill the house and make you feel better instantly.
During the warmer months, it is a rich and delicious meal in a bowl. Serve it hot or cold with a sprig of fresh dill from your garden.
You can use whipping cream in this recipe, if you prefer. The resulting soup is very thick and rich. The instructions here call for table cream (18% BF) which makes it a bit lighter. You could go lighter still and use milk or unflavored soy, making adjustments in the amount of liquid so that the desired consistency is achieved.
Ready? Let's get cooking...
The full French name for the soup is crême vichyssoise glacée, meaning "iced cream of Vichy."
What is Vichyssoise?
Vichyssoise is a rich, potato and leek soup made with chicken stock, cream, potatoes and pureed leeks or onions.
The origin of this wonderful hearty soup is unclear. Julia Child said it was an American soup, but France has also claimed the soup as its own. It really became part of the cultural culinary landscape when the head Chef at New York's Ritz-Carlton Hotel added it to the menu in 1917. As a result, the soup became synonymous with wealth because it was served at The Ritz.
Prep time included in total cook time
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium Vidalia onion
- 2 large leeks
- 6 medium potatoes
- 3 TBSP fresh dill, chopped (optional)
- 6 cups chicken stock or chicken bouillon
- 1 cup whipping cream or table cream
- 3 egg yolks, (save the whites for Christmas baking)
- 8 thin slices smoked salmon or gravlax (optional)
Step-by-step instructions for making this delicious soup
- Slice the vidalia onion into thick slices as though you were preparing onion rings.
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot and sauté the onion rings while you prepare the leeks. 3. Cut the root ends off the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them well under cold running water.
- Cut the root ends off the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them well under cold running water.
- Slice the leeks into ½ inch slices and add to the onions. Continue to sauté both while you prepare the potatoes.
- Peel the potatoes and then cut them into ½ inch pieces (rough diced). Ideally, you should have about 5 cups of potato.
- Add the potatoes and the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat. Let it simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- Purée the mixture in batches in a food processor and then return to the soup pot.
- Stir in the (optional) dill and slowly bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick.
- Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for your breakfast or for Christmas baking. Whisk the egg yolks and the cream together in a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk the egg and cream mixture into the soup and then turn the heat back down to medium.
- Keep whisking the soup gently for several minutes over medium heat until it has thickened slightly and is piping hot. If serving as a more traditional French Vichyssoise, chill the soup in the refrigerator before serving.
- Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls.
- Garnish with a slice or two of smoked salmon or gravlax and a sprig of fresh dill. Serve with crusty bread. Delicious!
Tips for making perfect Vichyssoise
- After puréeing the mixture in a food processor, you can strain the soup if you prefer a really smooth soup. I personally like it a little less smooth; the small bits of potato make it heartier somehow.
- Some folks don’t like the fresh dill in the soup itself. You can omit the dill from the recipe and simply use it as a garnish when you serve the soup.
- If you think that the soup already seems to be quite thick even before you add the egg yolks, you can cut the number of yolks back to two. Or add a little more chicken stock and/or cream.
Based on eight servings
|Calories from Fat||117|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 13 g||20%|
|Carbohydrates 31 g||10%|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 10 g||20%|
|Cholesterol 98 mg||33%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|