Vichyssoise / Leek and Potato Soup

Vichyssoise sounds so hoity-toity. In fact, most well-meaning folks don’t aaleekeven know how to pronounce it correctly… you DO pronounce the last s like a “z” as in vee-she-shwaz as opposed to the supposedly more genteel vee-shee-shwa. At any rate, it is the absolutely simplest soup to make and if you can’t say vee-she-shwaz then try “leek and potato soup…cold”. Actually, the base soup was most probably the hot version of Louis Escoffier’s recipe number 696 in his Guide Culinaire published circa 1903 orperhaps an earlier version of the soup published 1869. Vichyssoise was first served at the Ritz Carlton in New York at the turn of the 20th century… and the only change was that the soup was served by the chef chilled or cold. Thus vichyssoise and leek and potato are one and the same, they just have different serving temperatures. Imagine if I served pork sinigang cold and named it coagulated fatssoise soup… think I would become famous?

To make, thinly slice up the white stems only of say 5-8 medium sized leeks (Filipino size, just 2-3 of the humongous western versions). Peel and slice one medium sized white onion. Peel and thinly slice up 3-4 medium potatoes. In a heavy casserole (such as a Le Creuset), heat up a nice blob of butter, then sauté the leeks and onion over the medium heat for several mintues until tender and the aroma is compelling. Add the sliced potatoes, add 4-5 cups of chicken stock and cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it is all cooked. Next use a hand-held pureeing gadget or blender to mash it all up and add some cream or milk and stir together. Season with salt and white pepper and serve with deep fried thin slices of leek. Do not let the soup boil after you have added the cream or milk as it may curdle. This soup is terrific hot and pretty good cold.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

14 Responses

  1. Now THAT’S a leek soup to satisfy a soul as well as a stomach :-) Thanks for sharing the recipe Marketman! Now, I just have to figure out if my blender still works…

  2. I’ve noticed that Filipinos aren’t too fond of soups (at least my friends and relatives aren’t) — when I serve soup in a dinner party it’s always the slowest moving dish.

  3. I’ve never tried vichyssoise cold – I always felt the only decent cold soup was gazpacho, although I’ve been turned by a very good korean soup made with apples and soba noodles. But I digress. I’ll have to try the potato-leek cold.
    Wysgal, if you tell your guests that eating soup will help them loose weight, you might find them reaching for more soup. Of course, they have to eat it before all the other courses, but it’s meant to dampen their appetite. And hopefully they don’t devour the rest of the meal after the soup….

  4. Mmmm… sounds really delicious. Years ago there was a restaurant in Makati that served ube vichyssoise. It looked like alien vomit but it tasted really good…

  5. Fried neurons that sounds cool. We could do kamote vichyssoise for orange and beet for red… Wysgal we don’t seem to be big on soups because it is so hot here??? But then why sinigang, tinola, mami, etc. Maybe with aircon they’ll eat more? Mulligatwny, lobster bisque, crab and corn – gosh I can think of at least 20 soups that I love. I used to work in NY and around the block was a famous little vendor known as the soup man. He used to sell only 3-4 soups a day and the lines were 30-40 people long. He was even the basis for a character on Seinfeld the TV show…

  6. ha! the soup nazi is alive!!! (isn’t that how he was called in seinfeld?)

    back on course – can I share with you that i have a very fond memory of vichyssoise…it was the first dish I ever cooked all by myself (i was all of 9 years old then – just grew tired of jazzing up our pet dog’s meals and decided to move up the market)…my dad was just so aghast that I dared serve a soup cold…and when I challenged him that that WAS the way to serve it, he knew just right then that he had a foodie for a daughter : )

  7. yes my folks both liked it, just found it strange that it was chilled as opposed to the cardinal rule in our household that soups are served steaming hot!

  8. yung onion leeks po ba yung me bigger/broader sort of pandan leaves? it’s different from onion springs, right? also, ibe-blender ko ba yung potatoes along with the sabaw/broth? or should i get the potatoes muna then blend then put it back sa broth? i wanna do this recipe since i tasted CPK’s potato-leek soup….thanks!!!

  9. eiram, yes, leeks are bigger than spring onions. And you should only use the white parts. And yes, blend potatoes, broth, etc. together. Do the blending in small batches so you don’t clog the blender. Good luck.

  10. eiram, glad it worked for you. If you don’t put cream yet, you can freeze the soup, then thaw and add cream while you heat it up on the stove. Don’t boil it or the cream will curdle.

Comments are closed.