Have I mentioned my nickname in law school was “the Dream Crusher”? It’s true. I mean, people didn’t greet me that way in the hallway or anything, but I’m unequivocally a realist. I break things down and rub off their shiny veneer, leaving – sometimes – crushed dreams.

So, Vichyssoise! Vish-ee-swaz. A fancy name for a SUPER-easy soup. Vichyssoise is really nothing more than – ready? – Potato-Leek Soup.

Potatoes and Leeks. DREAMS CRUSHED. Sorry ’bout it.

A while back, I made this recipe for my parents. Throughout the evening, I called it by both names – first Potato-Leek Soup, and then Vichyssoise – and when my dad made the connection, he suddenly looked sad.  Turns out he LOVES Potato-Leek Soup, but for years (decades!) hadn’t known it was aka Vichyssoise, and had missed out on bowls and bowls of one of his faves.


Let’s make sure his hard-learned lesson wasn’t for naught. Impress your guests with the Frenchest of names for the easiest of soups. Whip it up in half an hour, and serve this Vichyssoise hot or cold. But always with some snips of chives.


Incidentally, I am reaching way back into the archives for this one. February 26, 2006 was one of our first Cooking Clubs – so long ago that email records reveal we actually called it “Dinner Club” that month, of which I have no recollection. I hosted this one, and I believe it was my first round of hostessing (Hostess: me; Theme: French {-ish}; Date: 02.26.06).

The timing is apt, because this year we have been celebrating our 10 year – TEN YEAR – Cooking Club anniversary {#cookingclubiversary – you heard it here first}, and as the crown jewel of this year of memories and merriment, we are taking our show on the road!

This November, we are Charleston, SC, bound. And we cannot wait! Stay tuned for what is likely to be an Instagram-fest of our weekend.


But until then: Vichyssoise. It’s easier to put together than you would think. All you do is sauté some onion and leek in a pat of butter, add chicken broth and potato and simmer until the potato is cooked through, and blend. Stir in some skim milk and you are DONE. Six ingredients.

Anti-climactic? Maybe. But dream-crushing goes hand in hand with telling the truth – which I am doing now!


This recipe makes about 6 cups of soup, and I am not above drinking it like a beverage.


5.0 from 1 reviews
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Sounds so fancy; tastes so good. Easy, healthy, do it. Vichyssoise.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6 cups
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 small sweet onion, or .5 of a large sweet onion
  • ⅔ c leeks, thinly sliced, just the white and very light green parts {about 3" of leek}
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 c chicken broth or stock
  • kosher salt, to taste {try .5 - 1 t)
  • 1.5 c skim milk
  • {.5 c light cream, optional}
  • Snipped chives
  1. In a medium-to-large dutch oven or soup pot, heat the butter over medium-high until it melts.
  2. Add the onion and leek, and stir to coat them in the butter. Saute until softened, but keep the heat low enough that the onion and leek doesn't brown.
  3. When the onion and leek have softened, add the potatoes and chicken broth, and salt if using; try to cover the potatoes with the broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover.
  5. Simmer until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork (this takes me about 20 minutes).
  6. Transfer to a food processor in two batches (even if it fits in one batch, it will expand because it's hot, so don't try it!), and process until smooth.
  7. Pour the blended soup back into the pot, or into an 8-cup container, and stir in the milk until smooth and incorporated (and cream, if using).
  8. If serving hot, slowly bring up to temperature so the milk doesn't burn. If serving cold, stash in the fridge until you are ready to serve!
  9. Snip some chives on top for color, taste, and texture.



  1. S across the hall says

    I made this over the weekend – couldn’t believe how much flavor it had for being so simple! And I will always call it Vish-ee-swaz instead of potato leek soup. Who knew.

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