Indians’ love for hot food is a widely known fact. Especially if it happens to be a soup, it is mandatory to serve it hot. But here is a soup that can be served both hot and cold. It is the Vichyssoise (pronunciation : VISHEESWAZ) and commonly known as the leek and potato soup.
In French, vichyssoise is called crême vichyssoise glacée, literally meaning iced cream soup of Vichy, a spa and resort town in central France. There are a lot of stories about the origins of this soup. But one of the most popular one is that the vichyssoise was created by Chef Louis Diet in 1917 while he was working with the Ritz Carlton hotel in New York. In the summer of 1917, he wanted to introduce something cool to serve to his customers in the rooftop restaurant. He decided to modify the leek and potato soup that his mom used to make. He served the soup made of leeks, potatoes and cream, cold and called it Vichyssoise. The soup became so popular that it had to appear on the menu full time on customer demand. The soup can be had hot or cold depending on the season.
Vichyssoise tastes different because of the use of leeks that belong to the same vegetable family as onions. Potatoes give the soup the characteristic thickness and the creaminess. Use of cream makes it rich. I also like to add a dash of nutmeg powder to it for that extra flavour. Chicken stock can be added to it in place of vegetable stock or water.
Here is how you can make it at home.
- Leeks 100 g
- Onion, medium 1/2
- Potato -100 g(1 medium)
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Cream – 1/4 cup
- Mik – 1/4 cup
- Vegetable stock/Chicken Stock/Water
- Salt to taste
- Nutmeg powder 1/4 tsp
- Greens of Spring Onions or chives for garnish
- Clean the leeks carefully and chop the white part into rounds. Discard the greens. Peel the potatoes and chop them into small cubes. Chop onion finely.
- Heat butter in a saucepan till melted. Add chopped onion and leeks and sauté till translucent. Add the potatoes and water or stock. Either pressure cook or cook on the gas stove till the potatoes soften.
- Puree the vegetables in a blender till smooth. Pour in to the saucepan. Add salt and a pinch of nutmeg powder. Heat it but do not let it boil.
- If to be served hot, add the cream and milk and switch of the heat. Garnish with spring onions or chives and serve. If to be served cold, switch of the heat and add milk and cream and let the soup cool down while stirring on ice bath. Cling wrap to avoid skin formation and refrigerate till service time. Serve garnished with spring onions or chives.
I like it both hot and cold. What is your preference? Do let me know how you liked it.