A Lighter Vichyssoise or Creamed Leek and Potato Soup

soupcu1Want another quick, simple, delicious and lighter soup recipe? This is a “lightened up” fix for an easy favorite…vichyssoise, or leek and potato soup. My lighter version is pureed and creamed, much like the original, but with a simple sub of lightened sour cream instead of copious amounts of heavy cream, you can definitely cut back on the calories and fat without sacrificing the flavor.

I think you’ll find that the sour cream adds a slight tang that naturally complements the leeks and the potato. This version is a little thicker, but is just as velvety as the original. Depending on how starchy your potatoes are you may wish to thin the soup with a bit more broth or water after you puree it. You could even use Greek yogurt as a substitute for the sour cream, but I happen to like the body and smoother consistency that the sour cream provides.

Like the traditional vichyssoise, this soup comes together incredibly quickly and is good hot or cold, which means you can eat it all year long…although this winter we’re leaning towards hot! It’s great to make on a busy weeknight. And it keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. All-in-all it makes for a warming (or chilled) and filling bowl of satisfying soup. We like ours with a bit of cheese toast alongside, which one can righteously enjoy when one has eliminated heavy whipping cream from the ingredients!

If you’ve never made vichyssoise because the name sounded “difficult,” you should really give it a try. What could be easier than throwing these few raw ingredients into a pot, cooking it for 40 minutes, pureeing it with a stick blender and stirring in some sour cream? You won’t be sorry.

Don’t need to worry about fat and calories? Then you can’t beat the original version of Julia Child’s vichyssoise here.

Lighter Vichyssoise or Creamed Leek and Potato Soup
Serves 6

4 cups sliced leeks, cleaned well, white and light green parts only (about 3-4 leeks)
1 3/4 lbs. raw yukon gold potatoes, cleaned, peeled and sliced
6 cups unsalted chicken broth
4 oz. water, plus a bit more for thinning, if needed
1/2 cup light sour cream, not fat free
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives (for garnish)
additional salt and pepper to taste

Place the leeks and potatoes in a large stock pot, add the broth, 1 teaspoon of salt and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree with a stick blender until very smooth. Return the soup in the pot to low heat. Stir in the sour cream, black pepper and add any additional salt, to taste and heat through. If the soup is too thick for you, thin it with a bit more broth or water. Serve the soup hot or cold with fresh snipped chives sprinkled on top as a tasty garnish.

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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. Continue reading