Crème Vichyssoise Glacée
The Crème Vichyssoise is an old classic cold soup of potato and leek made famous in America in the 1900s. It is similar to another soup called the potage parmentier, which is served hot. Potage Parmentier was named in memory of Antoine Augustin Parmentier, who promoted potatoes as a food to solve the famine in France in the 1700s. One version of the vichyssoise story is that Louis XV of France was afraid of being poisoned and had so many servants taste the soup that by the time he tried it, it was cold, and he liked it that way. Another, it was introduced to Americans by French chef Louis Diat at the Ritz Carlton in New York in the summer of 1917, and came later to France.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4-6)
- 500g / 1lb potatoes (cut in rough chunks)
- 500g / 1lb leeks finely sliced (chopped mostly the white part with some of the greener part too
- A medium sized onion (finely sliced)
- 60 grams plain butter
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- 1 bouquet garni
- 1 litre / 4 cups of water
- 250ml / 1 cup whole milk
- 250 ml / 1 cup heavy cream
For the plating:
- 100 ml whipped cream
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Melt butter in pot on low heat and when fully melted stir in and sweat onions and leeks for 4-5 minutes. Check then to ensure no colourisation on the base of the pot as there must be no browning at all. If there is a trace of colour, lower the heat. Sweat for another 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, mix well and add water to cover the vegetables by a couple of centimetres. Bring to boil on a high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and add salt, the bouquet garni and cook uncovered for about ½ an hour – the potatoes must be absolutely cooked. When they are done, turn off the heat.
- Remove the bouquet garni and blend soup with a stick blender until a smooth thick consistency is achieved.
- Pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan and press down with a wooden spoon so that any remaining lumps pass through the sieve.
- Add cream and milk and stir in well. Correct seasoning.
- Bring back to a boil (to sterilise the soup), and once boiling point is reached, turn off the heat.
- Transfer to a glass bowl by passing through a sieve a second time and then allow to cool. Cover the bowl and place in a refrigerator until it is chilled to the fridge temperature.
- Transfer to a dish to serve and if desired, add a dollop (quenelle) of whipped cream blended with chopped chives to the middle of the dish and sprinkle lightly with some more chives.
Creme vichyssoise video recipe: