Summer time meant a 2 month break from school as a kid. As an adult, my favorite part of the summer is keeping cool by or swimming and eating chilled dishes – virtually anything that doesn’t require me to burn a hole in my wallet from running the AC all day. The sun is getting stronger as my tolerance for heat is getting weaker. I never was really a summer person and I never liked the heat. The disadvantage of being fair-skinned is that I am more susceptible to sunburns among other things. The only thing I liked about the sun that it brought out more natural highlights in my hair. Otherwise, I try to avoid the outdoors during the day as much as I possibly can.
The hot weather inspired me with the idea of making this French potato leek soup which can be eaten chilled or hot. While most people consider vichyssoise to be a classic cold French soup, it is believed by others that the vichyssoise soup recipe was invented at the Ritz Carlton in New York City by a French chef, Louis Diat in the summer of 1917. His idea behind this soup was to help keep the patrons cool.
The actual origins of this soup don’t make a difference to me. But the original ingredients do which consist of heavy cream, milk, and a quart of broth which totals to a half a cup of cream per serving! That is why I eliminated those ingredients from my vichyssoise soup recipe without compromising on its creamy texture that everyone loves.
This chilled potato and leek soup recipe is very easy to follow, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and lasts for days. Although vichyssoise is designed to be a chilled soup, it tastes just as great served hot. Regardless whether vichyssoise soup has its French origins or not, this potato and leek soup still remains a classic with a wonderful flavor.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 3-4 medium large Yukon potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1-2 large leek washed, rinsed, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus extra for garnish
- 3 cups of low sodium broth or water
- 2 cups of low fat milk of your choice
- Salt and pepper for taste
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and gently sweat for 5 minutes until they are soft. Then add potatoes, broth/water, and milk. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Puree soup in batches in a blender. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil again while stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat. Add more water or broth if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or hot. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped chives.
Yields 4 servings