|Place of origin||France, Vichy|
|Main ingredients||Leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, chicken stock|
Vichyssoise (// 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.
Recipes for soup made of pureed leeks and potatoes were common by the 19th century in France. In 19th-century cookbooks, and still today, they are often named "Potage Parmentier" or "Potage à la Parmentier" after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, the French nutritionist and scholar who popularized the use of potatoes in France in the 18th Century. The French military cookbook of 1938 includes a recipe for "Potage Parmentier for 100 men" using milk instead of cream but with proportions and directions that are similar to the recipe for "Vichyssoise Soup" given later by Julia Child.
The origins of the name Vichyssoise are a subject of debate among culinary historians; one version of the story is that Louis XV of France was afraid of being poisoned and had so many servants taste the potato leek soup that, by the time he tried it, the soup was cold, and since he enjoyed it that way it became a cold soup. Julia Child called 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".
Louis Diat, a French chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City who grew up in Montmarault in the Allier department near the spa resort town of Vichy, is most often credited with its reinvention. In 1950, Diat told The 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.
The same article explains that the soup was first called Crème Vichyssoise Glacée, after the spa town. In 1930 the restaurant's menu changed from French to English, whereupon it was called Cream Vichyssoise Glacée.
- List of French soups and stews
- List of soups
- List of vegetable dishes
- 1971 Bon Vivant botulism case, which involved tinned vichyssoise soup
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