Julia’s Vichyssoise

This creamy, easy soup tastes like a dream. So elegant…so Julia.

Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday! In her honor and as part of the many celebrations going on today, I made another of her fabulous and easy dishes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This is perhaps one of the easiest soups of all to make…Vichyssoise, or cold leek and potato soup.

According to Julia, this is an American invention, made by taking a base Master recipe for leek and potato soup, making it with stock instead of water and adding cream, then chilling. It couldn’t be simpler to make and it is stunningly delicious. Here’s how I made it based on her recipe.

Just 3 ingredients plus a little salt in the pot, cook, puree, add cream and season…done!

Clean and peel 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. of potatoes and slice them then put them in a soup pot. Add about 3-4 cups of leeksβ€”the white and only very light green parts, cleaned and sliced. Cover with 6 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock and about 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered until everything is very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture in the pot until it is very smooth. Stir in 1 cup of cold, heavy cream, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (Julia uses white pepper, I used black). Chill the soup in the fridge and serve with a little dribble of cream and some fresh snipped chives. So easy!Β And the taste…you just can’t believe how deliciously complex and luxurious the flavor is in this soup.

Today is the big day, so don’t forget to post your Julia tribute dish photo to your own Facebook page or your blog, then share it to my Facebook page for us all to see and be inspired.

Happy Birthday Julia Child, and Bon AppΓ©tit to you all!


44 thoughts on “Julia’s Vichyssoise

  1. Oooooh! Two tribute recipes, how lovely. We had a vichyssoise during our Iron Chef Dinner at Victor’s in Toronto for my birthday; I think it was the first time I’d ever had it and it was TDF! So silky and creamy. Your presentation is gorgeous, and it’s nice that it’s not a huge serving (the one at Victor’s was gigantic). It’s a rather rich soup, and given the opportunity would be consumed easily because it’s so rich and silky.
    What a lovely post, Betsy.


    • Thank you so much, Eva! I think I’d had this soup…even made it…a long time ago, and am now wondering why I haven’t made it recently. It is so silky and creamy as you said…and yet so unbelievably simple to make. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and the challenge…and thanks again for participating! πŸ˜‰


  2. Vichyssoise is such an elegant dish and the perfect choice to pay tribute to Julia on her birthday. It really isn’t a difficult soup to prepare and the result is one elegant starter, paving the way for a memorable dinner.


    • Ach! I hit enter too early. I was about to add that I think your idea of having others join you in sharing their Julia recipes is a great way to honor this woman. Well done!


      • I hate when that happens! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your kind words. I know everyone was quite busy and making and sharing a specific recipe or from a specific person on such short notice is hard. I’d planned to make more than two items, but ran out of time. I intentionally chose two easy ones just for that reason!


  3. Lovely Betsy – it’s been so long since I had a vichyssoise but I love leek and potatoes. Happy Birthday Julia – I should really read more about her, I know very little but she sounds like quite a character! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Charles and thank you. I think this has become one of my new favorite soups…again! Yes, Julia was one of those people that redefined the word “character” I would say…she certainly was one. I think you’d enjoy reading about her and especially in conjunction with seeing and hearing her in her earliest days on Public Broadcasting here. πŸ™‚


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    • Thank you kindly Sawsan. πŸ™‚ It was fun to do the tribute and challenge, and the two recipes of Julia’s that I made just happened to fit with ingredients I had on hand so it was timely indeed for me! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Stephanie! I know what you mean about having cookbooks and then not using the recipes…I have many for which this is the case. And I have several of Julia’s cookbooks and use one of them a lot, but hadn’t really made anything from “Mastering” until I decided to do this tribute. It was a great motivator! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Kay, and yes you should try Vichyssoise…it’s so delicious. But even better, it is so easy to make. Just 6 ingredients and that includes salt and pepper…it practically makes itself and keeps well in the fridge to boot!


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