Potato Leek Soup (Vichyssoise)


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds trimmed leeks, cleaned and thinly cut
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ¼ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into eighths
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or more as needed to adjust thickness
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Melt butter in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and salt; cook until leeks begin to wilt. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and cook until soft and almost pastelike, 30 to 40 minutes.


  • Step 2

    Place potatoes in the pot; add chicken broth. Adjust heat so mixture simmers slowly. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree mixture with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Whisk in heavy cream and creme fraiche. Heat over medium heat. Add more salt, if needed, and cayenne pepper. Do not boil.

  • Step 3

    Serve with a drizzle of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

  • Chef's Notes:

    You’ll need 1 1/2 pounds of leeks after they’ve been trimmed. Leave about an inch of the dark green.

    Here’s Chef John’s recipe for homemade crème fraiche.

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