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Type Soup
Place of origin France or New York City, United States
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredients Leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, chicken stock
Cookbook: Vichyssoise  Media: Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise (/ˌvɪʃiˈswɑːz/ VISH-ees-WAHZ; French pronunciation: ​[vi.ʃi.swaz]) is a thick soup made of boiled and puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold but it can be eaten hot.[1]


The origins of Vichyssoise are a subject of debate among culinary historians; Julia Child calls it "an American invention",[2] whereas others observe that "the origin of the soup is questionable in whether it's genuinely French or an American creation".[3]

Louis Diat, a French chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is most often credited with its (re)invention.[4] In 1950, Diat told New Yorker magazine:

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.[5]

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.

Earlier, French chef Jules Gouffé created a recipe for a hot potato and leek soup, publishing a version in Royal Cookery (1869).[6]

In popular culture[edit]

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, Windgren responds "is it catching?" referring its cold. After that a small debate ensues about the serving temperature of vichyssoise: [40 degrees always!] according to Dauphin.

In a 1973 season 4 episode of All in the Family, Archie's neighbor Frank Lorenzo prepares vichyssoise as a delicacy for the Bunkers, much to Archie's dismay.

In the 1984 film Old Enough, Lonnie and Karen are having a pretend dinner, and Lonnie says to an imaginary waiter, "Charles, serve the vichyssoise," much to Karen's consternation.[7]

In the 1985 musical comedy Nunsense, the Little Sisters of Hoboken stage a variety show to raise the money needed to bury 52 of their sister nuns. They were accidentally poisoned by the vichyssoise served to them by their cook.

In the 1992 film Batman Returns, the butler Alfred (Michael Gough) brings a bowl of vichyssoise to Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who complains that the soup is cold. Alfred then explains that vichyssoise is "supposed to be cold".

In the 1994 film The Mask, "I will dip my ladle in your vichyssoise" is a famous quote from the protagonist, Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey). It is used asa sexual innuendo.

In a 2005 episode of Drake & Josh, where Josh has to go to the hospital to get surgery on his foot, he disguises himself as a doctor at one point in the episode and dubs himself as "Dr. Vichyssoise," which he explains to his stepbrother, Drake, is a type of soup after wondering what it is.

The eponymous character of the 2006 film V for Vendetta refers to his alliterative declaration of purpose a "veritable verbal vichyssoise."

In the 2011 film Jumping The Broom, after the rehearsal dinner where Gregory (Brian Stokes Mitchell) tells Claude (Angela Bassett) they are broke he comments, "Well, if the sofa hasn't been repossessed, please find yourself on it tonight." His response includes, "I'm gonna have some leftover vichyssoise and I am gonna pour myself a Scotch. Then I'm gonna go up to our bedroom, get into our bed, go to sleep, and snore."

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 during 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.

In the 2015 anime series Food Wars Zenji Marui presents his "White Potage Curry Udon," an original curry dish that has a roux in the vichyssoise style of creaming potatoes and cream, during the Totsuki Autumn Election. He added a poached egg, a cheese topping, and mashed potatoes.

In the video game Tales of Vesperia, vichyssoise is a cookable dish for the characters and is featured in a skit when one of the characters has mastered making it. However, her companions keep calling it potato soup rather than vichyssoise.

In the video game Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (LucasArts, 1991) the protagonist Guybrush Threepwood slips a rat into a pot with vichyssoise. When the restaurant's owner discovers the rodent, he fires the cook and hires Guybrush instead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Some like it hot
  2. ^ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, p. 39
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kamp, David. The United States of Arugula, New York: Broadway Books, 2006
  5. ^ Hellman, Geoffrey T. (1950). "Talk of the Town". The New Yorker (12/02). Archived from the original on 14 November 2006. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ The New Cult Movie Podcast - Ep. 2 - Old Enough (1984), YouTube

External links[edit]