Vichyssoise is a creamy leek and potato soup that is served ice cold during the hot summer months. Crusty bread or buttery crackers and fruit salad go very well with this soup. It can be made the night before it is wanted.
Food historians believe this delightful cold soup was created at the Ritz hotel in New York city in 1910. Recipes for hot leek and potato soups can be found in cookbooks from the 1800s. The recipe for Vichyssoise was first publicized in the early 1900s and quickly became the ‘must serve’ soup when entertaining guests during summer.
Cold soups are popular around the world. Russia has beet borsch and people in Denmark enjoy buttermilk soups. The Greeks serve cold lemon soup and Spain has gazpacho. Countries in the Middle East and in tropical countries serve cold soups of many types. Northern European countries serve cold fruit soups either to start a meal or as a dessert. Many soups that can be served hot can also be served cold.
Cold soups must be as cold as possible. Put the serving bowls or soup cups in the refrigerator so they will be cold before serving the soup. Some cooks put the soup in the freezer and remove it to the refrigerator right before it freezes.
This recipe will serve 5 to 6. Serve with breads and a salad. Add a light dessert and ice cold drinks.
- 2 leeks, white part
- 1 onion
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 cups of water
- 4 teaspoons of dry chicken bouillon
- 2 cups of half and half
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Wash the leeks well to remove all soil and sand. Save the green part for another use. Slice the white part of the leeks and the onion. Peel the potatoes and slice into thin slices.
Put the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and onion. Cook until tender.
Add the potatoes and the broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Using a food mill, blender, stick blender or other device, process the cooled soup until it is smooth. It is best to process the soup in batches. Pour the processed soup into a large bowl and stir in the half and half.
Cover the bowl and put the soup in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. It can be made the night or day before you want to serve it.
Serve sliced green onions or chives and sour cream in small bowls on the table so people can add their own toppings.
The soup can be served warm. Reheat over low heat or in the microwave.
Crisp bacon is another topping that is good on potato soup.
Sweet muffins go well with this soup for a light lunch.