Vichyssoise is a thick, creamy smooth soup made of cooked and blended potatoes, the white bottom part of leaks, cream and/or milk, and chicken, pork, or rabbit stock. It is traditionally served cold and puréed but it can be eaten hot.
The history of Vichyssoise is unique! In the late 1800s there was a recipe that was very similar to the present recipe recognized as “original” Vichyssoise but this recipe was never given a name.
In the 1930s, a French chef named Louis Diat was working in New York City and introduced to his restaurant clientele a cold soup that his mother made him and his brother Lucien as young boys. Since his family grew up in the French town of Vichy, he named his soup “Cream Vichyssoise Glacee”, which translates “iced cream (soup) of Vichy”.
If you search for Vichyssoise recipes, you’ll find there are many substitutions that follow the clear framework of the original Vichyssoise recipe. For example, other vegetables are substituted for the potatoes and various creamy foods such as coconut cream or nut or bean “milks” are substituted for dairy cream. Various light-colored vegetable stocks can be substituted for the light-colored meat stock and finally versions are enjoyed served hot as well as the traditional cold soup tradition.
Our kitchen practice honoring the differences between Vichyssoise from Potage Parmentier:
- We make Vichyssoise on warm days with the traditional potato, leek, and broth base. Our broth base is always an alternative “bean milk”, making either Lima bean, soy, or white beans in our SoyaJoy G4 appliance. We also arrive at a very creamy silky texture by adding ghee.
- We make Potage Parmentier in the winter when our leeks are not always available. During this time we use the white part of green onions and save the green tops separately to make Herbes Salees seasoning. The potatoes are sometimes just white buy also mixed with our freshly dug sweet potatoes. The “cream” base again is from our ever expanding repertoire of alternative milks and of course the ghee. We usually leave the potatoes in small chunks.
– See also this article: https://center-of-the-plate.com/2016/10/27/the-power-of-the-potato/
More Articles Distinguishing Potage Parmentier from Vichyssoise:
-According to Julia Childs:
“The basic difference is that the Vichyssoise from (Mastering the Art Vol 1) uses chicken stock and no flour, while the Potage Parmentier (From Julia Child’s Kitchen) uses water (or water and milk) plus butter and flour as the soup base.”
-“Potage parmentier (named after Auguste-Antoine Parmentier, the man who promoted the idea of using potatoes as a food in Europe) is the moniker used for the hot version, often mistakenly called Vichyssoise (named after the spa town of Vichy), a name that should only be used for the cold version of the soup. Serving temperature aside, there is one other glaring difference between the two soups: vichyssoise is always a smooth and creamy soup, whereas parmentier can either be a rustic, chunky broth (with or without milk), or a rich, smooth and silky soup.”