There's disagreement over where and by whom Vichyssoise was created. And also disagreement over whether you can even call it vichyssoise if it's served warm and not chilled.
But there should be little doubt that it is genius to make such satisfying soup in such little time from such few ingredients that can be enjoyed equally hot or cold.
Most recipes you'll read will call for chicken stock. But the truth is that the leeks and potatoes add so much flavor that whether the liquid component is your richest homemade chicken stock, your richest homemade vegetarian stock to store bought stock to water, the range in grades from most tasters would be A+ to A-. And it's the flavor of the leeks and potatoes that make the soup as delicious hot or cold.
You can even leave out the cream if you want to make it vegan or add a smoked ham hock to add another layer of flavor.
The formula is so simple you'll not need to write it down and here is an elegant soup to make in twenty minutes while on vacation whether on the beach or skiing in the mountains. —David
part leeks (white and pale green parts only, rinsed if sandy and roughly chopped
part waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
part liquid (chicken stock, vegetable stock, water)
The measurements for leeks, potatoes and liquid are all volume measurements so you can start with whatever you have the least of. For instance if you have one leek in your crisper, chop it up and measure and then add the same amount of potatoes and water.
add a little salt and pepper(1/4 teaspoon salt per quart of soup and a grind or two of pepper) to flavor while simmering
bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer until potatoes are just done (15-20 minutes)
using an immersion blender or transfer to food processor, puree soup.
Adjust salt and pepper
Add cream to taste (I usually add about 3 tablespoons per quart of soup)
The traditional garnish is chives, but on different occasions I also enjoy truffle oil, szechuan pepper or bacon