“Vichyssoise” – French Potato and Leek Soup

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Leek and Potato Soup is such a classic dish that we all imagine it has always been there.  Whether as a velvety puree of potato, leek, onion and cream or as a broth with a medley of component veggies in it make it a favorite.  Where did it originate? It is claimed as a national dish by both Wales and Ireland and is recommended for consumption on their respective Saints’ days.  The Scottish have their own version titled Tattie-and-Leekie and then again there is the vichyssoise version that is linked with Vichy in France.

Leeks are the original “superfood”, high in not only fiber but also heart protecting substances such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which help to prevent our blood vessels from damage, and folate, a B vitamin that also supports our cardiovascular system.  The fancy name  ”Vichyssoise” which you would think originated in France,  but strangely enough invented on American soil.  Credit for this (usually) cold soup is given to a Frenchman, Louis Diat, who was a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New Your City during the first half of the 20th century.  He has been quoted as saying he was inspired in his invention by childhood memories of adding cold milk to his soup to cool it on hot summer days.  He named his soup after Vichy, a town famous for its spa, which was located close to Diat’s boyhood home.

French-Soup-Author

In this recipe we are going to do it’s “French” version from chef Louis Diat.  Vichyssoise is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold but can be eaten hot.

Sources: 
1.  Diat, Louis (Chef, Ritz-Carlton Hotel/New York City).  http://cookbkjj.com/bookhtml/001164.html.  Retrieved on June 18, 2013
2.  History of Leek and Potato Soup – where it was invented?  http://www.wikireferenda.com/food/history-leek-and-potato-soup-where-was-it-invented.  Retrieved on June 18, 2013

 

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

10 Cups of Chicken Bullion
4-5 Medium Potatoes
2 Leeks
1 Cup of Heavy Cream (or Half and Half)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 Cup of Ham
1/4 Cup of  Sprouts
1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley 
 
How to make Vichyssoise Soup:
 
1.  Prepare your chicken bullion, if you need a little help and instructions how to do it click here.  I prefer to use fresh bullion, but you can substitute for store bought chicken broth, or make it using chicken broth cubes.
 
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 2.  Wash your leeks, trim the ends and most of the top green part of the leeks and chop them.  I still leave a little though, so our soup will turn nice green color.
 
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3.  Wash, peel and cut up your potatoes.  Measure 1 cup of your Heavy Cream or Half and Half.
 
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4.  Now you are ready to Saute your leeks until almost ready.  You will know they are ready because they will start changing color to green-transparent.
 
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5.  Add your cut up potatoes.  While most recipes suggest simply boiling potatoes in the chicken broth I like to add them to the pan for about 10 minutes so they absorb the flavors of the onions.
6.  Your potatoes will not be fully cooked, but don’t worry… because now you will add them to your chicken broth and let them finish cooking until ready.  Add your Salt, Pepper and any Herbs you like to taste.
 
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7.  When your broth is ready and potatoes are fully cooked which should take about 15-20 minutes, you are ready add your heavy cream to your soup.  Mix it in well and then using your immersion blender, puree everything right in the pot.   I have tried doing this before with regular blender and it was a big mess and very slow process.  Now I always use my Cuisineart blender for these kind of jobs.  Here is the link for it in our shop if you would like for info.
 
8.  Once your soup is ready, pour in on the plate and serve it with pieces of ham, alpha sprouts and sprinkle with extra parsley.  Enjoy!
 
Love,
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"Vichyssoise" - French Potato and Leek Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
“Vichyssoise” – French Potato and Leek Soup. Chicken broth base with vegetables, ham and alpha sprouts.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 10 Cups of Chicken Bullion
  • 4-5 Medium Potatoes
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream (or Half and Half)
  • 1 Cup of Ham
  • ¼ Cup of Sprouts
  • 1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare your chicken bullion. If you don’t have it, you can substitute for store bought chicken broth, or make it using chicken broth cubes.
  2. Wash your leeks, trim the ends and most of the top green part of the leeks and chop them.
  3. Wash, peel and cut up your potatoes. Measure 1 cup of your Heavy Cream or Half and Half.
  4. Saute your leeks until almost ready. You will know they are ready because they will start changing color to green-transparent.
  5. Add your cut up potatoes. While most recipes suggest simply boiling potatoes in the chicken broth I like to add them to the pan for about 10 minutes so they absorb the flavors of the onions.
  6. Your potatoes will not be fully cooked, but don’t worry… because now you will add them to your chicken broth and let them finish cooking until ready. Add your Salt, Pepper and any Herbs you like to taste.
  7. When broth is ready and potatoes are fully cooked which should take about 15-20 minutes, you are ready add your heavy cream to your soup. Mix it in well and then using your immersion blender, puree everything right in the pot.
  8. Once your soup is ready, pour in on the plate and serve it with pieces of ham, alpha sprouts and sprinkle with extra parsley. Enjoy!
 

 

 

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