Pronounced VEE-shee-shwaz, vichyssoise is a simple leek and potato soup. Serve it hot on cold days and cold on hot days. Either way, it is simply sublime.
For eons, I shunned vichyssoise (pronounced VEE-shee-shwaz, don’t leave off the last z sound). Its name somehow conjured rotten fish. Its French origin sounded fussy.
So wrong! Vichyssoise is a simple soup, ever-so-delicious served cold when it’s hot – and hot when it’s cold!
It’s easy for novice cooks to master. Better still, the same techniques apply to other homemade soups.
EASY HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK There are more complicated ways to make stock but this shortcut works. For supper one night, enjoy a grocery-store rotisserie chicken. Then cover the carcass with water in a large pot, cover and simmer for an hour. Refrigerate overnight. Skim off the fat and pick off the remaining meat for sandwiches or chicken salad. When heated and strained, the gelatinous stuff remaining turns into a rich, flavorful broth. Freeze it for later or refrigerate for up to two days before using. If you like, this recipe for Homemade Chicken Stock has more detail.
KITCHEN LESSON: VICHYSSOISE
Time to table: 1 hour but better after 24 hours
Make 5 cups
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock (see recipe)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, cleaned (see ALANNA’s TIPS) and cut in half moons
- 1 pound russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup half ‘n’ half (fat-free half ‘n’ half works too) or cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Milk to thin, if needed
- Fresh chive, chopped for garnish
Bring the broth to a boil in the microwave. (This step saves time but can be skipped if there’s no rush.)
In a large pot, melt the butter til shimmery on medium high. Add the leek, stir to coat with butter, then cook gently til leek begins to soften, stirring often. Add the potato and hot broth, bring to a boil and cover. Adjusting heat to maintain a slow simmer, let simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor, in batches if needed, filling no more than halfway. Process til smooth and return to pot. Stir in half ‘n’ half. Season with salt and pepper.
SERVE & SAVOR Preferably, refrigerate for 24 hours. If serving hot, rewarm on low heat but do not allow to boil. If serving cold, thin with milk if needed. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with chive.
Russet potatoes are some times called 'baking potatoes' or 'Idaho potatoes'. Their are often quite large, their skins are rough and their flesh is mealy.
Please be careful when putting hot liquids into a blender.
In 2010, I made a particularly good pot of vichyssoise with the ham stock made from leftover from Twice-Smoked Ham. The leeks and potatoes are so smooth and delicate yet can manage a strongly flavored stock.
More Recipes for Simple Soups
Shop Your Pantry First
© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade