Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 108 - Vichyssoise

Dinner with Marcy, and what am I going to do today? Ignore Marcy's health-consciousness and go for broke!

The meal was two courses, and one course was a recipe from Martha's magazine, Everyday Food, so I'm not going to discuss it here, but it was good. (Not great, but good.) The other course was inspired by the hot weather and the fact that I STILL HAVE NO AIR CONDITIONING! Arrrgggghhh!

Vichyssoise (p. 69)

Something cold! Even though I had to use the stove to make the soup, the thought that I wouldn't have to turn on the oven at mealtime was very attractive here.

Marcy, Francophile that she is, wondered as to the origin of the name of the dish. A little research turns up that a French chef invented the soup while cooking at the Ritz Hotel in NYC in 1917, inspired by a soup his mother made, which he and his brother would cool down with milk in order to eat it sooner. He named the dish for the town Vichy, which was near where he was raised.

This recipe is so simple! There are amazingly few ingredients in this: leeks, butter, potatoes, water or stock, cream, buttermilk, and salt/pepper to taste. And it comes together very easily. The only thing is, you have to think ahead here. I made it in the mid-afternoon, and it took a while to cool down, so it didn't go in the refrigerator until 5:30ish. When I served it at 8, it was just a touch cooler than room temperature. So you'll want to make this in the morning to serve it nice and cold.

Even at that temperature, it was delicious. I used half chicken stock and half water, and there was a subtle chicken-y undertaste, but I think it would have been just as good with water only. This is a simple, classic soup, and it's irresistible.

Jeff: A
Martha: A


  1. OMG this is so uncanny. We just had our anniversary June 30, and right about now, forty-one years ago, we were honeymooning at the Hotel del Coronado in California. At the very fancy restaurant in the hotel, we had - wait for it! - Vichyssoise -- in beautiful chilled silver thingies. It's the only time in my life I ever had it. It was delicious. It may have been the exact day you made it! By the way, Charles doesn't remember the Vichyssoise, but I assume he was still in shock.

  2. Congrats on your 41st anniversary! That's a long time! Maybe next June 30, you can try out this recipe on Charles. Of course, he still won't remember that you had it on your honeymoon, but it will be meaningful to you. :-)