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Potato Leek Soup or Vichyssoise

Updated on May 18, 2016
Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili loves to cook—from comfort food to fine cuisine—and was the recipient of a silver medal in a food and wine matching competition.

Great soup for hot or cold weather!

5 stars from 3 ratings of Potato Leek Soup

Delicious Potato Leek Soup

This delicious Potato Leek soup recipe can be served hot or cold.
This delicious Potato Leek soup recipe can be served hot or cold. | Source

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

Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: Serves eight hungry people

Ingredients

  • 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)
Saute both the onions and leeks, then add the diced potatoes.
Saute both the onions and leeks, then add the diced potatoes.
Now add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Now add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Puree the mixture in small batches using a food processor.
Puree the mixture in small batches using a food processor.
Whisk the egg and cream mixture into the soup.
Whisk the egg and cream mixture into the soup.
Dill is optional in the soup and can also be used as a garnish.
Dill is optional in the soup and can also be used as a garnish.
Voila! Vichyssoise garnished with smoked salmon or gravlax and a sprig of dill.
Voila! Vichyssoise garnished with smoked salmon or gravlax and a sprig of dill. | Source

Step-by-step instructions for making this delicious soup

  1. Slice the vidalia onion into thick slices as though you were preparing onion rings.
  2. 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.
  3. Cut the root ends off the leeks and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them well under cold running water.
  4. Slice the leeks into ½ inch slices and add to the onions. Continue to sauté both while you prepare the potatoes.
  5. Peel the potatoes and then cut them into ½ inch pieces (rough diced). Ideally, you should have about 5 cups of potato.
  6. 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.
  7. Purée the mixture in batches in a food processor and then return to the soup pot.
  8. Stir in the (optional) dill and slowly bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls.
  12. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Nutrition Facts
Calories 298
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Carbohydrates 31 g10%
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 10 g20%
Cholesterol 98 mg33%
* 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.

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    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hi Deb, you sure got that right!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nothing like a good potato soup to warm the soul!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hi Tom, this is good cold weather soup, no doubt about it!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hello ChitrangadaSharan and you are most welcome. Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comments!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hi Mhatter and you are most welcome. I agree...it would be a perfect match with nice warm sour dough.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Sounds delicious and hardy would be great on a cold day !

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This sounds delicious. Nicely illustrated and explained hub...and they are so perfect for winters. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Only SF sour dough bread could make this any better. Thank you.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hello teaches and thank you. We are huge fans of potato soup here too. This is a really thick soup because of the egg yolks, so you may want to adjust the consistency to your liking.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Oh my gosh, do you know how much I love potato soup? I could eat it every day. Your recipe looks perfect in the photo in description. I need to whip up a batch this week. I have never had it with the salmon on top, but being a salmon lover this is right up my alley. Voted up!