Hang on to that summer vibe just a little longer with this recipe for the Queen of chilled soups: Julia Child’s Vichyssoise.
Vichyssoise, as its name suggests, has French roots, but is an American invention. And while there are hundreds of recipes for cold leek and potato soup, we think going with Julia’s classic recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking is the only way to go. After all, she is the American who taught us to love French cooking.
“Here is the mother of the family in all her simplicity. You’ll note there’s no chicken stock here, just water, leeks, potatoes, and salt in the soup base. However, you may include chicken stock if you wish, and you may certainly include milk. A bit of cream at the end is a nourishing touch, but by no means necessary.” — Julia Child from The Way to Cook, Alfred A. Knopf.
Julia Child’s Vichyssoise Recipe
4 cups sliced leeks, whites only
4 cups diced potatoes old or baking potatoes recommended
6 to 7 cups cold water
1½ to 2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
1/2 cup or more sour cream, heavy cream, or crème fraîche, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or parsley
Special Equipment Suggested: A heavy bottomed 3-quart saucepan with cover
Bring the leeks, potatoes and water to boil in the saucepan. Salt lightly, cover partially and simmer 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup if you wish. Taste, and correct seasoning. After chilling the soup, you may wish to stir in a little more cream. Taste carefully again, and correct the seasoning. Top each serving with a sprinkle of chives or parsley.
Note: If you are not puréeing the soup, cut the vegetables rather neatly.