Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup) – Julia Child

Julia Child’s Vichyssoise recipe; A creamy potato soup, flavored with leeks and white pepper. Garnish with a sprinkling of chives. Traditionally serve chilled. 

Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup) Recipe from

I love potatoes. I’m sure you already knew that. I couldn’t live in a world where they didn’t exist. It would be pure torture. Kind of like removing bacon and cheese. Only a monster would do that. A monster! Don’t ever take away those incredible comfort foods. I love them dearly.

Until now, I’d never had a potato soup. I’ve had potatoes in soup, but never had a potato soup. Get it? They were always a complimentary addition, but never the main focus of the dish. I always meant to make a loaded potato soup but never got around to it. I see that popping up in my future though, especially after making this. The difference, it’ll be piping hot.

Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup) Recipe from

This particular soup is a potato and leek based soup, seasoned ever so perfectly with salt and white pepper… yes, white pepper. You could certainly use black pepper and have specks throughout your soup if you don’t mind. I’m sure the flavor is slightly different too but not worlds different, so it’s okay… use black pepper if you want.

The strangest thing for me wasn’t the process, though I’d never strained a soup through a fine mesh sieve before in my life. It does give an amazingly smooth finished product though. Nope… the strangest thing was the temperature. This soup is served cold. To me, soup is meant to be hot. Soup reminds me of chilly days. It’s a comforting dish in my eyes. Not saying this couldn’t be comforting, just not in it’s chilled state. Apparently this can be served hot but is traditionally served chilled… so sticking with tradition, that’s what I did. I tasted it both warm and chilled and much preferred it warm.

Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup) Recipe from

It’s smooth and flavorful with just the right amount of seasoning. Nothing extra is needed. Though to be perfectly honest, I did wish there were crisp buttery croutons seasoned with garlic and maybe a touch of cheese. That would have been the perfect addition. Next time.

I reduced the quantities and adjusted the amounts just slightly, giving a perfect balance of flavor.

Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup)

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Dinner
Servings: 3


  • 1 1/2 C yellow potatoes peeled and sliced into small chunks
  • 1 C leek rinsed and sliced 1/8" thick
  • 3 C chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp chives minced


  • Prepare potatoes by peeling and slicing into small chunks. Add to a medium saucepan.
  • Chop off the dark green portion of your leek. Slice the white root end down the length of the leek, almost all of the way through. Hold the leek root end up under cool water allowing the water to flow between each section rinsing away any dirt. Gently shake dry. Cut into 1/8" thick pieces. Add to saucepan.
  • Cover potatoes and leek with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add salt. Reduce temperature to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cream.
  • Pour into a large blender, in batches if necessary. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour through a mesh strainer, into a large bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to help push the soup through the sieve. Season with pepper. Enjoy immediately or cover and transfer to the refrigerator until ready to serve chilled. Sprinkle with minced chives before serving.


Slightly adapted from: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

Celebrating 100 with Julia Child:
Week 1: Rolled omelette
Week 2: Chocolate mousse
Week 3: Coq au Vin
Week 4: Salade Niçoise

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17 Responses to “Vichyssoise (Potato and Leek Soup) – Julia Child”

  1. #
    Shirley@bells-bakery — June 8, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I love potato and leek soup,its my second favourite after cauliflower and broccoli! Im with you soup is warm comforting food but I’ll try anything once!

  2. #
    Danae (The Busty Baker) — June 8, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I never actually tried it, but we used to have a hot version of this in the cafe at work, which we nicknamed “leek-y potato” soup. Now I want to try it! Too bad they stopped making it like a year ago..

  3. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — June 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I love potato leek soup. I don’t like it cold but I love it hot. yum!

  4. #
    Tara Noland — June 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Looks lovely!!!

  5. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — June 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I would really love to try this one!

  6. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — June 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    i love vichyssoise and this looks absolutely lovely. if only someone would invent a leek-cleaning device i’d make it more often – those suckers are a pain to clean!

  7. #
    Carla @ Carla's Confections — June 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    On the menu in the next few days!!! Beautiful pictures!!!

  8. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    ooo this is really interesting! never heard of this before. how do you even pronounce it? you wouldn’t want to hear me try lol..i’d totally get weirded out that it’s a cold soup but it looks so creamy and smooth that i’d give it a try!

  9. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — June 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I was sold on this until the cold part. Gazpacho is the only “soup” I can do and actually like cold. Potatoes? Not so sure on that. I’d definitely be heating it up like you too. Please do make a “loaded” version :)

  10. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — June 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    This looks delicious! I’ve heard of this type of soup before, but actually never realized it was supposed to be served cold! I like the idea of a cold soup for the summer, but I’m definitely with you that soup is meant to be hot!

  11. #
    Andy — June 10, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I love Julia and I def want to try her Vichyssoise recipe! Her shows really are amazing! I would love a complete set of her DVDs.

  12. #
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — June 10, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Vichyssoise is a favorite of mine but I don’t make it in the winter. It’s too cold for me to eat it now. :)

  13. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic mama — June 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

    This is one of the few recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking that I’ve made many times, though I could never serve it cold… perhaps I should trust Julia and try it.

  14. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I love how simple this recipe is but I’d definitely have to warm it up. It looks really good!

  15. #
    Tracey — June 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Mmmmm your pictures are making me hungry!! I’m with you, I definitely prefer my soup warm so I’d ignore tradition and have mine that way :)

  16. #
    brandi — June 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    this looks so good! i’m sad i’ve missed out on the last few JC100 posts. hoping to get back into once our travel slows down.

    • #
      Rachel — June 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      You should! It’s been so much fun. Can’t wait to see what you whip up in the coming weeks :)

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