Chilled Vichyssoise Recipe

First things first: As it's surely the question you're wondering above all else, how on earth do you pronounce the name of this soup? Vichyssoise is pronounced "vih-shee-swahz." If you say "wishy paws" in a neutral American accent, you'll be rhyming with the proper pronunciation. Cool? Okay, then moving on, just what is vichyssoise? This classic French soup made primarily of leeks and potatoes is meant to be enjoyed chilled. And here you thought gazpacho was the only cold soup around!

Chef and recipe developer Sher Castellano calls vichyssoise "a great starter to any summertime meal." She also urges you to resist the temptation to eat it while it's still hot, saying: "Vichyssoise is traditionally served cold, so I'd keep it that way," but for the record, some people do eat the stuff more like a traditional potato leek soup while it's hot. (You can always try the both if your curiosity is getting the best of you.)

If you find yourself a fan of this traditional chilled dish, go ahead and make a big batch now, and you can enjoy it well into the days to come. Castellano says that it will keep "for about three days refrigerated or six months frozen." When you thaw it out, just make sure not to heat it up!

Gather the ingredients for your chilled vichyssoise

It doesn't take many ingredients to make a great soup. In this case, all you need are butter, thinly sliced leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes, diced small, low-sodium vegetable broth, fine sea salt, black pepper, and heavy cream, plus some minced chives for a garnish when you serve the soup.

If you look at enough recipes for a standard warm potato leek soup, you'll see the ingredients are really quite similar. The major difference here really is the fact that it's served cold, and it's a difference you'll embrace the first time you have a bowl on a warm summer day.

Sauté the leeks, then boil the potatoes

Start the recipe off by heating a large soup pot or a Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat and then adding in the butter and sliced leeks. Sauté the leeks in the melted butter for five minutes until they are quite tender and fragrant.

Next, add in the diced potato, broth, salt, and pepper, and bring the pot to a boil. Then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.

Stir in the cream, blend, and strain, then chill

One the potatoes are cooked well, remove the pot from the heat and add in the cream. Now blend the soup in small batches (to avoid blowing the lid off your blender) until smooth, or you can use a hand blender in the pot. Either way, Castellano says: "Avoid over-blending or processing it, as potato starch will begin to break down and get gluey."

Next, to ensure a silky-smooth texture, run the blended soup through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any pulp. This, aside from serving temperature, is the other major difference from a standard potato leek soup, FYI.

Now, transfer the soup to a bowl and refrigerate it for at least two hours, taste it and add more salt if desired, then serve chilled with fresh chives and a pinch of black pepper.

Three things to know about leeks

Leeks have a mild but wonderful taste that goes well in myriad dishes and is the major player in this soup here. But before you get to the cooking this dish or any other that uses them, there are three things to note. First, leeks fully deserve their reputation for being quite dirty inside. They hold a lot of dirt, so take the time to rinse them well, especially after you have sliced them and opened up the layers.

Second, you should only use the white and pale green portion of a leek, not the darker green upper leaves. Yes, you will discard most of the leek, and that's okay, that's just life. (You can also keep the leek ends and use them to make a vegetable broth.) Third, while they may be mild on taste, they're big on nutrients. According to Healthline, leeks are a great source of vitamins C and A, they have beta carotene, they provide manganese, and they're quite low-calorie.

Chilled Vichyssoise Recipe
5 from 19 ratings
If you find yourself a fan of this traditional chilled dish, go ahead and make a big batch now, and you can enjoy it well into the days to come.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Chilled Vichyssoise in a bowl
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Optional Ingredients
  • Minced chives, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, and then add in the butter and leeks and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the potato, broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and add in the cream.
  4. Blend until smooth in small batches. Then, to ensure a silky smooth texture, run the blended soup through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any pulp.
  5. Transfer the soup to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours, then taste and add more salt if desired.
  6. Serve chilled with fresh chives and a pinch of black pepper.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 234
Total Fat 17.0 g
Saturated Fat 10.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 56.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 2.4 g
Sodium 330.3 mg
Protein 2.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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