|Place of origin||France or United States|
|Main ingredients||Leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, chicken stock|
Vichyssoise (// US dict: vish·ē·swäz′; French pronunciation: [vi.ʃi.swaz]) is a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold but can be eaten hot.
The origins of Vichyssoise are a subject of debate among culinary historians; Julia Child calls it "an American invention", whereas others observe that "the origin of the soup is questionable in whether it's genuinely French or an American creation".
In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.
The same article explains that the soup was first titled Crème Vichyssoise Glacée. Then, after the restaurant's menu changed from French to English in 1930, Cream Vichyssoise Glacée. Diat named it after Vichy, a town not far from his home town of Montmarault, France.
Bon Vivant incident
On July 2, 1971, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a public warning after learning that a New York man had died and his wife had become seriously ill due to botulism after eating a can of Bon Vivant brand vichyssoise soup.
In popular culture
In the 1962 war film Hell is for Heroes, PFC Driscoll (Bob Newhart) monologues on a field telephone, saying that the new cook is working out except for "One problem, his vichyssoise tastes a little too much like potato soup... Oh, they're supposed to taste like potato soup."
In the 1963 film Fun in Acapulco, Mike Windgren (Elvis Presley) is eating vichyssoise when Maximilion Dauphin (Paul Lukas) dips a thermometer into the soup, to which Windgren responds "is it catching?" referring to the cold of the soup. After that a small debate ensues about the serving temperature of vichyssoise, [40 degrees always!] according to Dauphin.
In the 1992 film Batman Returns, there is a scene in which Alfred (Michael Gough) brings a bowl of vichyssoise down to Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who initially complains that the soup is cold; Alfred then explains that Vichyssoise is "supposed to be cold".
In the 2013 film Movie 43, the first non-frame sequence, The Catch, features Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman eating vichyssoise as a course in their meal and, more specifically, Jackman's characters "neckballs" dipping into the soup at one point in the meal.
In Downton Abbey (BBC TV) series 4 episode 5 (aired 26 January 2014), the French sous chef of the Ritz hotel London has job applicants making vichyssoise as a test of employment, citing its popularity at the Ritz New York.