Vichyssoise: A Soup That Is Easier to Cook Than It Is to Pronounce
(/ˌvɪʃiˈswɑːz/ VISH-ee-SWAHZ, French: [viʃiswaz])
Louis XV was a fickle monarch, a king as paranoid of being poisoned as he was fond of eating potato soup. As such, he always made sure his servants tasted the dish before serving it to him. By the time it got the “all clear,” the soup had gone cold—the supposed origin of vichyssoise, a cold potato and leek soup.
It’s a great story, albeit a made-up one: The soup first appeared at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York City in 1917. The chef, Louis Diat, created the dish based on one of his mother’s recipes and named the soup after his hometown of Vichy.
Eponymy aside: Vichyssoise might not have an exciting backstory, but it is a simple-to-prepare soup. And, while it should be enjoyed chilled, it is perfectly tasty warm, too.
The Recipe (Based on an original from Cook′s Illustrated)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs leeks, whites only, thinly sliced (0.9 kg)
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt and white pepper
2 ½ cups whole milk (6 dl)
2 cups chicken broth (4 ¾ dl)
8 oz peeled red potatoes, cut into half-inch pieces (¼ kg)
2 tbsp fresh chives
Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add leeks, onions, and two teaspoons of salt, and give a quick stir. Cover, cook, and occasionally stir until soft—about ten minutes.
Add milk, broth, potatoes, and a quarter teaspoon of white pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until potatoes are tender—about twenty minutes.
Cool soup for ten minutes. In batches, process soup in blender until smooth. Strain soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Refrigerate for four hours or up to four days.
Serve topped with chopped chives, and eat like a French king or a diner at a French restaurant in New York.
“Vichyssoise.” Wikipedia. Updated July 1, 2022. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vichyssoise
Thanks for reading The Awesomeness Digest! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.