Crème Vichyssoise: the French gazpacho – Eat like the Batman!

best-vichyssoise-recipebest-vichyssoise-recipeIf potato leek soup wasn’t (even then) anything new, the French Chef of The Ritz-Carlton New York (the original one), woke up one day and decided he would serve it cold. His name was Louis Diat and the year was 1917. Louis was born near the town of Vichy in France. Soup is a feminine word in French “UNE soupe” and since ladies who live in Vichy are called Vichyssoises… there you go :0)best-vichyssoise-recipe

Louis is known to have said: “Without garlic, I wouldn’t care to live”. Personally I would add butter to the list :0)

I must say I hadn’t had Vichyssoise since my childhood, but I recently found the recipe in one of my grandma’s boxes and decided to give it a go. Maybe it would bring back some of those beloved memories… I was so right!best-vichyssoise-recipe

  1. The recipe is cheap as dirt (not “sheep as dirt” Stefan, I think I got it right this time and thank you for correcting me by e-mail. That was very thoughtful of you and I appreciate it).
  2. It is very very easy to make.
  3. You can make it in advance of a lunch or dinner party and keep it in the fridge for two to three days.
  4. Last but not least, very few people know of this dish or ever make it. This makes for a great surprise and conversation piece for your next dinner party!

best-vichyssoise-recipeNow I am writing this specific paragraph as I just finished cooking the soup. I just tasted it hot and it is so absolutely delicious this way (hot) that I decided to have some for lunch. I’ll have it with croutons! I hope I have some left to take my pictures later on before I post… Believe me, it is not a given at this point. I’m not kidding, this thing is to die for!

The reason for my stupid tittle today by the way, is that Alfred served Vichyssoise to Bruce Wayne once. Bruce spit it out because he didn’t expect the soup to be cold: Clip Here

best-vichyssoise-recipeFor 4 people:

– 11oz of leeks – that’s about two regular size leeks – (mostly the white part)
– 18oz of potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– 1 smallish onion
– 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
– 1 cup of milk
– 3oz of crème fraîche (heavy cream)
– Chopped chives for decoration
– Salt, black pepper, nutmeg

  1. Wash your vegetables and chop them up.
  2. Put onions and leeks in a pot with the butter and cook over low heat for a few minutes while stirring. Don’t let them color. You just want them to become softer.
  3. Add your chicken stock and potatoes and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix your soup in a blender.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the milk, the cream as well as salt, pepper and nutmeg to your taste. I quite like the kick nutmeg gives to any potato dish, so I put about a quarter of a nut worth (a small teaspoon).
  6. Serve ice cold with chives as a proper Vichyssoise or steaming hot with croutons as a wonderful potato leek soup. Both will blow your mind in their own way!

53 Comments Add yours

  1. Nadia says:

    One of my favorite soups, hot or cold. What a coincidence, I just made some last week and ate most of it before it had time to cool down. Just one more spoon….

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes, quite addictive stuff! You know I was thinking about the day you are going to Bordeaux this month; and although I know I will have guests around and won’t be able to do lunch, we should try to at least have coffee. It’s really too bad to live so close and miss an opportunity to meet… Would you email me a day or two in advance so we can arange something? I’ll have a clearer idea of my schedule then…

      1. Nadia says:

        Sure, sounds like a good plan. Shall I contact you via WordPress?

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Great! Just send me an email through the contact tab. I read them several times a day.

      2. Nadia says:

        You might get this reply several times – I am having internet issues!!
        Sounds great, we would love to meet even if for a few minutes. It is always fun to actually see in real life, a person one has been in contact with.
        Any particular email or via WordPress?
        My email is Nadiakgraves@gmail.com

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Great! Via my contact page on the blog is best

  2. I have never heard about this type of soup but it look really simple and healthy for our health that’s why i will try to make it soon.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I do hope you enjoy it!! I really think you will 😉

  3. chef mimi says:

    This soup has been made for me, but I just realized that I haven’t ever made it myself! Thank you for the inspiration, and beautiful photos!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’ll make it for you when you’re here. It is to die for. What cream will do…

  4. A way that I can enjoy soup in the 100+ degrees heat of the summer? I’ll have to give it a try for the man and me! Mind if I add it to my list of recipes I’m going to mess around with for my blog? I’ll link to this post, of course.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Blog away my dear! Blog away! A word of caution though: this soup is highly addictive! 😉

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever had this, so I’m going to have to make it. It sounds so simple, but often the simplest things can be the most delicious.

    P.S. Yes, you did get it right this time 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      🙂 😉

      1. I’ve made it and we liked it. Post is now on my blog 🙂

  6. Barbie Beaton says:

    I will make this vichyssoise, but there’s a catch. Whoever wants to eat it has to spell it correctly.;)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ha Ha! Smart, funny and pretty Barbie. You make me sick! 😉 🙂

  7. Lynda says:

    I would have never thought to serve this cold! I make it frequently (but serve it hot) so I’ll have to give it a try. Will be perfect in the Texas summer heat! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I think you’re right. I think it would go really well ice cold as a side dish to hash browns, bacon and eggs… I just had lunch and you made me hungry again. Thanks a lot! 😉

  8. Elena says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I was running out of ideas for a summer brunch/lunch. I made it today and it was so good that I’ll have to cook it again to try how the cold version tastes 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Haha! A woman after my own heat! I told you it was irresistible! 😉 🙂 Let me know how your brunch guests like !t! OK?

      1. Elena says:

        If I have anything left for guests, I’ll let you know how they liked it 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          You selfish selfish girl 😉

  9. I’ve had this both hot and cold, and I agree, it is a wonderful soup either way. I loved the batman clip, LOL!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      A touch of humor never hurts. Right? Have a lovely day dear friend!

  10. Eha says:

    ‘Stephane’ and ‘Stefan’ – no further comment needed . . . wish you both well and yes, have made vichyssoise since being a kiddy-cat . . . 🙂 !

  11. Jessie says:

    Wow, I’ll try this recipe when I have a brunch party. I like the dishes that bring out our beautiful memories.

  12. Jodi says:

    Sounds so yummy! And I love that it is your grandma’s recipe! Can’t wait to try it!!🍵

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I feel like I kind of know you and I really think this is the kind of dish that you’d love. I think it could even become your signature dish Jodi 😉 This little soup is simple, humble and authentic and very sophisticated all at the same time… Please do try it and let me know what you think…

      1. Jodi says:

        Will do Stephane!

  13. Nikki says:

    well….when a gentleman from FRANCE says a dish to to die for…I’m in!!!! Will give this a go ASAP:))))

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh please do Nikki! I promise you will love this!! 🙂

  14. Oh my, looks fabulous! Thank you 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I don’t think I’ve told you how much I love your new avatar picture. You look positively radiant!

  15. Love this soup, hot or cold. I usually make some when I make leek and potato patties, and serve them together. Obviously, I don’t believe in “too much of a good thing”… 😀

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I don’t either, you know than (and my poor belly knows it too). The idea of serving hot patties with the cold soup is genius! I will serve that as an appetizer at my next dinner party!!! 😉

  16. judilyn says:

    YES! Potatoes and onions – hot or cold – a wonderful combination. I make my own buttermilk that is a very versatile ingredient, too. Must try it with this recipe – hopefully it wouldn’t curdle if added when everything is cold. Would add a nice tang, yah?

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Try and let me know Judie. Actually, try my recipe first and then yours and let me know your impressions. That’d be fun!

  17. eileenmarie45 says:

    My aunt always spoke about ‘vishyssoisere’ – a cold soup and I now make it for my daughter who loves it hot or cold! An easy and very filling dish! Thank you for the recipe.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so right Eileen Marie! Soul food at its best! 😉

  18. photogal01 says:

    It looks absolutely wonderful, and it’s amazingly well timed, as one of my co-workers just brought in a barrel of potatoes from his dad’s farm. . .well, now I know what I’ll be making with my share!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please do try dear Carla (or Cynthia? Sorry). You will not regret it! You are so lucky to have access to great quality potatoes from the farm. I do too, but iy’s harder and harder to find good ones at the Farmers’ market…

  19. I hadn’t had vichyssoise for years and I saw it recently in the take out counter in a wonderful grocery store…of course I had to get a pint and it was divine! So glad to have this recipe. Thanks

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so welcome!! You should make your own. I don’t know if you have before, but it is so darn easy and the result is quite rewarding (as you well know).

  20. Vinny Grette says:

    Yum! But I think your title should read: “Don’t” eat like Batman :). Who would want to spit out this delicious soup??? It was actually a staple when we were growing up. So I’m surprised you say people don’t make it often. It’s so so good! Now you’ve reminded me, I’ll make it again.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please do Sharon!! As another reader, Kay, said, it was very trendy (here at least) in the 70s and 80s, but has fallen out of grace for some reason. Maybe because of all the cream. People are more health conscious and prefer Gazpachos now… People need to stop being so afraid of cream!!! 😉

      1. Vinny Grette says:

        I do sub milk for cream and coconut oil for butter when I make this for the family. I save cream and butter for special occasions. I tried a version using sweet potatoes instead of white ones, once, for added health benefits. It ended up tasting fabulous (to be said modestly 🙂 ) – https://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/vinnyssoise-chilled-leek-sweet-potato-soup-bowls/-

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I’ll check it out. You are so creative!

  21. Vichyssoise is wonderful! I often make it and you are right..It is wonderful hot or cold! 👍

    1. My French Heaven says:

      So right Natascha! Loved it hot. I barely had enough left to take my pictures of it cold… 🙂

      1. Hahaha! I understand! 😙👍

  22. Wonderful post. I didn’t know the background to the name, so thank you. However, I used to make it a LOT years and years ago when I was first married. It was very in vogue in the late 70s/early 80s. Now I just make hot leek and potato soup but I feel I should go back to the cold version again and add a good helping of milk and cream as you do 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes, totally a 70s kind of dish. That’s why it reminds me so much of my childhood I guess. The milk and the cream are what make it so special. So smooth… You should make it again Kay. This is the kind of dish, as you know, that creates memories… Have a lovely evening dear Kay!

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