Soups and Stews

Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup)


There’s very few soups that I really like. I’m not including soupy style noodles, just so you know. That stuff, I could go on forever listing names. But for just plain old soups, there’s only a few I will go out of my way for. French onion soup is on the top of my list. Caramelized mushrooms in a rich beefy broth with some toasted bread and melted cheese on top? Yes please. Second would probably be sweet corn soup which is great with other stuff too, like crab. Then there’s the list of soups that are kinda nice. Tomato and basil soup is yummy in small quantities. Italian wedding soup was pretty interesting. I was surprised that I liked Borscht! And then there’s Vichyssoise, which is basically a chilled, creamy potato and leek soup. It’s thickened with puréed potatoes and leeks and cream is added to give it a fine consistency. There’s nutmeg and chives too. Pretty good for the summer.


Vichyssoise (pronounced vee-shee-swahzz) is an American creation, despite sounding French and all. According to Julia Child anyway. It’s a very simple soup to make if you have a blender handy.  Recipes usually call for heavy cream but I substituted it with half and half. If you’re going the milk and heavy cream route, use 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cream instead.


I’ve made this once before a long time back. I didn’t plan to blog about it just yet until I actually looked at everything the produce aisle has to be offer during my last grocery run. Usually I just skim for what I need and move on because for some reason, grocery stores are black holes. You hurry it up as much as you can with a handy list to make it efficient and all, but when you step out those doors into the sunshine, suddenly an hour has passed. How?

Well this time, in the interest of mental inventorying and curiosity, I actually looked at everything and saw two leeks left in the leek section. And boom, Vichyssoise came to mind (when I originally typed up this post on the iPhone it autocorrected Vischyssoise to vicious spies). So if you’re in the mood to slurp on some vicious spies, let’s get cooking!


But first, here’s a little bit of trivia about leeks. You’ll like this one, I promise! According to a legend, a Welsh king instructed his soldiers to affix a leek onto their helmets to distinguish themselves while battling the Saxons. Whether it’s true or not, the leek is now one of the national symbols of Wales. I can just imagine it though, soldiers charging along a field bellowing battlecries with green vegetables on their heads. Epic!


Getting back to the recipe, let’s talk technique. When you clean the leeks, immerse them in water after slicing them to get rid of dirt. The dirt is sneaky and sometimes hides several layers deep, close to the root. After dunking them in cold water and shaking them about a bit to loosen the dirt, I used a strainer to fish out the cleaned leeks. As for the potatoes, the smaller you chop them, the easier and faster they cook and the less work your blender has to do. Don’t worry if the leeks and potatoes barely seem to be immersed in the chicken stock, the leeks will cook down slightly. This is when your home will start smelling really good. Cover while simmering so your stock doesn’t evaporate and boil down. And finally, let it cool down before you blend.

The soup will be thin after it cooks down. Don’t worry! You didn’t do it wrong. Once you blend it, the potatoes will break down and thicken it up. In fact, it will be too thick and will look like mush or baby food. That’s when you thin it down a little and add some creaminess with half and half. Perfect.


If want to have it hot, then sprinkle some nutmeg and minced chives and chow down. If you want to go the traditional route and have it chilled, put it in the fridge for an hour and wait. Either way you go, it’s a nice and simple soup to add to your table.

PS:  If you have leftover leeks and you’re wondering what to do with them, there’s always creamy leek sauce along with seared salmon.

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Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup)

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped


  1. Over medium high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil
  2. Add leek and potatoes and reduce heat, simmering covered for 30 minutes
  3. Remove from heat to cool
  4. Blend the soup in batches until smooth
  5. Pour in half and half and stir to combine
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight
  7. Serve chilled sprinkled with nutmeg and chives


1 hour chill time

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins

Vichyssoise Nutrition

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  • Reply
    July 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    I know it should be eaten cold but I always think it sounds delicious hot. I don’t think I would actually want it cold.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      July 19, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      I’ve had it both ways and it’s equally delicious. It all depends on your personal taste and mood!

  • Reply
    MB @ Bourbon and Brown Sugar
    June 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Oh how we love a good potato and leek soup! Thanks for the recipe… so happy to have discovered your blog!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 14, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      You are most welcome. I love sharing recipes and tips on how to get them right. Thanks for stopping by, MB 🙂

  • Reply
    Nava Krishnan
    June 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Haven’t heard of the name of this soup but………………… I love the outcome. Not a big fan of soups. But its one my other half will finish off the whole bowl.

  • Reply
    The Cooking Jar
    June 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Very welcome, Heidy. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment 🙂

  • Reply
    Annie @Maebells
    June 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    This looks lovely! So creamy! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      I hope you do! Let me know if you like it or made any personal adjustments. That nutmeg though made me feel like it was Christmas already!

  • Reply
    Yosef {This American Bite}
    June 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I love the sound of this recipe — and I love the bowl you served it in too.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Hehe, lot’s of people seem to love the bowl. Good thing the hubs insisted I get it. At first I was all ‘Ehhh…” but it turned out so well in pictures. Glad I listened!

  • Reply
    Yosef {This American Bite}
    June 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I love it… and the bowl!

  • Reply
    Pure Grace Farms
    June 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Perfect soup for summertime. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      Absolutely! Although we heated it up a little because it started raining these past few days and we wanted it warm. It’s so versatile.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Looks yummy! Love potato soup!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      You’re most welcome. Bobbi. It’s great for people who love creamy type soups. This has a little bit of a gritty texture though from the potatoes.

  • Reply
    Christine @ Taste of Divine
    June 11, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Vicious spies…hehe!! Love it. I bet this soup is killer 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 12, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      Gotta love autocorrect sometimes. We liked it a lot. I dunked a lot of bread in it, as usual 🙂

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