If 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)
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!
- 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).
- It is very very easy to make.
- You can make it in advance of a lunch or dinner party and keep it in the fridge for two to three days.
- 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!
Now 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!
For 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
- Wash your vegetables and chop them up.
- 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.
- Add your chicken stock and potatoes and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
- Mix your soup in a blender.
- 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).
- 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!