Leek & Potato Soup | Vichyssoise

Leek & Potato Soup | Vichyssoise

Details

This classic leek and potato soup is so easy to make you may be surprised at how much flavor it has.
  • Serves: 6
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 38,238
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 white onion
• 5 large leeks*

Method

Finely slice the onion and emince the garlic. Set aside.

To prepare the leeks, cut off the root end and discard. Then cut off the dark green part (wash it and save it for making stock). For the white and light green part, cut in half lengthwise and then cut across into fairly thin strips.

*Note: 5 large leeks should weigh about 2 1/4 lbs or 1 kg. Once cleaned and sliced, you should have about 700 to 800 grams of leeks (or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs).

Next, rinse the leeks really well to remove any dirt and/or sand. Then spin dry in a salad spinner to remove the excess water. Set aside.

Step 2: Sweating the Ingredients

• 7 tbsp non-dairy butter
• 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

In a large pot or saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat.

Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sweat for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Make sure the onions do not take on any color.

Next, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the leeks and salt and stir. Cover with a lid and let sweat over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the leeks soften. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, you can go ahead and prepare the potatoes. You may also want to heat up the stock from Step 5.

Step 3: Cutting the Potatoes

• 2 large baking potatoes* (approx. 14oz or 400g)

Method

For the potatoes, try to find types that are high in starch such as russets or Burbank potatoes.

Peel, quarter the potatoes lengthwise and finely slice. Once done, you should have about 300 to 350 grams (10 to 12 ounces).

Do not rinse the potatoes, as the starch will help to thicken the soup.

Step 4: Adding the Potatoes & Stock

• 3 to 4 cups HOT stock

Method

Once the leeks have softened, add the potatoes and stir to combine.

Next, add approximately 3 cups of hot stock just to cover the ingredients, adding more if necessary, just to cover. It is better to add less stock than too much, as you can always add more at the end to thin down the soup.

Bring the soup to a simmer. Cover and let cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or just until the potatoes have cooked through. If the potatoes are over cooked, they will start to break down, which will make the soup grainy.

Step 5: Puréeing the Soup

Method

Once the potatoes and leeks are tender, take the soup off of the heat.

Next, carefully puree the soup, using only one or two ladles at a time. Place a clean cloth over the lid to prevent the lid from popping off and the hot soup from burning you. DO NOT walk away with the blender running. Puree the soup on high for at least 1 minute per batch.

Step 6: Finishing the Soup

• 3 to 4 tbsp Cashew Cream* (optional)
• additional stock, if needed

Method

For velvety-smooth soup, strain the soup through a fine sieve. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it is worth it if you want an extremely-smooth texture. Press out the solids, using the back of a ladle or spatula.

Once done, transfer the soup back into a pot. Adjust the consistency to your liking. If you need to thin the soup out, you can add a bit more hot stock and/or Cashew Cream, if desired.

Step 7: Serving the Soup

• chives for garnish
• sea salt, to taste
• white pepper, to taste

Method

To serve the soup, reheat it slightly to ensure it is nice and hot. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. For this soup, you can use white pepper so it doesn’t look like there are little black flecks throughout.

Garnish the soup with some finely chopped chives. You may be tempted to skip the chives, but they really do add a nice touch. You may also want to finish with a dollop of Cashew Sour Cream.

Chef's Notes

Vichyssoise is the French name for this classic soup and is often served cold in the summer.

This versatile soup has a clean and delicate flavor and will complement almost anything else you are serving with the meal.

26 Comments

  • Andy W
    Andy W
    I'm elbow deep in the sauce lessons at the moment, but it occured to me that this recipe is basically a veloute based soup but the starch in the roux is made with potatoes rather than flour. Is that the right way to be looking at this?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You are correct that the potatoes are acting as the thickener in this soup; however, this would not really be classified as a veloute-based soup as it is not made with a roux. Good thinking though. Cheers!
  • Andy W
    Andy W
    So a roux is specifically a fat and flour, rather than a fat and a starch? In the roux lessons it talks about using different fats than butter but that doesn't extend to different starches.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There will be a few lessons on soups in the future that will go into more detail about this sort of thing. For more info on substitutes for flour in roux here is another post that you might find helpful. Cheers!
  • Linda C
    Linda C
    I made this soup last week, but added the last of my sorrel to it. It was amazing. Will definitely grow Sorrel next year too.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    This soup is pretty much the exact same recipe I've been making for a while. Accept I didn't puree it before I froze it. I had a ton of it left over. I had to thaw all of it out and puree it cause it turned out really grainy. So glad I did and saved this soup. I now call it my soup base. I pull a bag out of the freezer and throw in whatever I've got left over from the previous night's meal. So far it is amazing with shredded chicken left over from a roast. I also throw in corn, carrots, etc. Like I said, whatever I have on hand. So if you're gonna make this soup, I suggest you make a boat load and freeze it in single serving portions. It's awesome to have this soup whenever the mood strikes you. Just make sure you puree it! Glad to see Rouxbe offering cream based soups. Can't wait for more!
  • Tom W
    Tom W
    The links to creme fraiche and creme fraiche shortcut are broken. I just thought I'd let you know. Also under step 3, grams is improperly abbreviated grs. I hate to be a stickler about this, but it's one of my pet peeves. It should be written 400g or 400 grams. Again, I hope I'm not being a pain in the butt. I'm really looking forward to having this soup tomorrow night.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Thanks for heads up about the link it has been fixed. Hope you enjoy the soup - cheers!
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    I would be really grateful if Rouxbe would consider doing a "Tips" video on how to clean and cut leeks and which parts to use. I could use some guidance with this vegetable :/ Thanks for your consideration!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    While we do have quite a few short tip and technique videos, we are more focused on the lessons in the Cooking School right now, so this video won't be in the pipeline anytime soon. I did a quick search online and here is a decent video on how to clean leeks. In terms of cutting, this all depends on what you are making. You can slice them across into half-moon shapes or lengthwise. You might want to check out the cooking school lesson on How to Cut Using a Chef's Knife. There are some great pointers in there on how to handle almost any ingredient. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    Thanks for your detailed response, Kimberly. I came across that video a few days ago and thought he did a great job of explaining where and why dirt accumulates between the leaves and how to clean the leek, although I wished he had better explained which part is inedible (yet usable for stock). From the video at the 50 seconds mark it almost looks like the cut he made was arbitrary, as both halves have dark green leaves. What are your thoughts on where the inedible part of the leek starts? Thank you again; I am truly grateful to learn from Rouxbe and its chefs. It's a phenomenal school and has brought my cooking to another level in only a few short months.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Glad to hear you are enjoying Rouxbe. Both the white and green parts of leeks are edible; however, the very dark green parts are often not eaten because they are too tough. They still have lots of flavor though and shouldn't be wasted. This is why they are often added to stocks. They can also be blanched and used to line steamer baskets or anywhere that you want to infuse some leek flavor. Test it for yourself. Cut a few strips down the different parts of the leek and taste it. You'll see the difference in texture. It's all about getting to know your ingredient and experimenting. Cheers!
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    Great ideas! I can't wait to get myself a leek to do the tasting experiment =)
  • Daniel R
    Daniel R
    We made this for lunch today and it was delicious, even though I could point out where I could use some improvements. I am starting to learn how to create these soup flavors and textures. I only had two leeks, and I probably used a little too much potato, so next time I'll fix that ratio to be more on the leeky side. Other than that we added bacon bits, and we think that some small toasted croutons would also be good. Sharing a good meal is just such a great thing, and that's what cooking is all about for me :)
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    My first ever Vichyssoise! Wow! I made this ahead of time tonight with plans to serve it with lunch tomorrow. It smelled amazing, and the unanimous decision was to serve it immediately. This was fun to make with outstanding results... and definitely a great way to impress guests.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I didn't know I wasn't supposed to eat the dark green part of the leek (wasn't following directions as well as I should have). So I sliced it extremely thin and used it as a garnish. Tt tasted so good with the crunch, we kept putting in more. Who knew? Thanks Rouxbe. I'm becoming a fabulous cook because of you!!
  • Rod R
    Rod R
    Hello Rouxbe team, Do you think I can substitute green onions for leeks in this recipe ? I love potato soup but I don't have any leeks and plenty of green onions. Thank you, Happy eats :)
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Since green onions impart a stronger flavour than leeks, it won't taste the same, and will essentially be Green Onion & Potato Soup...but otherwise, it should work fine. You will miss the delicate flavours of the leeks, so I would suggest that the next time you see leeks at the supermarket, you grab a few so you can try this amazing dish as it is meant to be. Happy leek hunting! :-)
  • Ivan M
    Ivan M
    Made the soup and it was excellent until-----My wife pointed out that it was a bit gritty and, therefore, she gave me an F. Just started Chicken and Dumplings. Trimmed the leeks dark green leaves and the root. Sliced the remaining down the middle and separated the leaves - found dirt deep within the layers of leaves.
  • Linda C
    Linda C
    Yep Ivan, I'm also a "learn by my mistakes"...it's still fun!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You are not alone Ivan. Many of us have done it once—I say "once" because that's all it takes to never do that again. Welcome to the gritty leek club :-)
  • Hsiao hui W
    Hsiao hui W
    Hi, When the recipe called for cutting the veggi, in this case, onions and leeks very fine, I often wonder if I can just put those in the food processor and chop to fine bites before cooking since they will be purée later. Will this change the final flavor or texture? I love this soup and wish can do it more often, but it often takes me long time to cut the leeks!
  • Kalyn S
    Kalyn S
    Could I use leftover mashed potatoes for this recipe? If so, when would I add them?
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Kalyn: I make Vichyssoise a lot, and though I haven't tried making Vichyssoise with left-over potatoes, I see no reason why it shouldn't work. I have used already cooked potatoes successfully with clam chowder and other starch-based soups and have a couple of hints to offer: 1. Vichyssoise needs to be silky smooth. With a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, you'll have no problem. If using a normal blender, you may need to blend smaller batches for a longer period of time in order to achieve the same smoothness. 2. Add the left-over potatoes at the same time as specified in the recipe. Since the potatoes are already cooked, you won't need to simmer the soup for the full 10 minutes specified. Just simmer them long enough to fully incorporate the potatoes into the soup before blending. (probably not more than a minute) 3. If using COLD mashed potatoes, it is helpful to loosen them up a bit before adding them to the soup by microwaving them until they are warmed through. 4. You will likely need to adjust the amount of stock used in the recipe to account for the stiffness/absorption of the potatoes being used. 5. Your mashed potatoes will likely already have some milk and/or butter in them (which won't cause a problem since the recipe uses cream) but you may have to adjust the recipe a little to get the consistency and creaminess just right.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Leigh- Wow, I just read over this twice and you captured a lot here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this - very practical. ~Ken
  • Kevin B
    Kevin B
    Just to [very deferentially :) ] update Kimberley S`s response to "Cleaning Leeks" higher up - the video which Kimberley has linked to is now a "Private video" on YouTube.However, here is another (2016) link which seems to be quite good. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njMtD7Hnlb8

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