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Serves 4
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 large leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups (1.25 liters) chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml)light cream milk (optional)
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, and cook very gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until soft but not browned.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a large bowl or pass through a strainer for a smoother finish. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
  4. To serve, stir in the cream. If the soup is too thick, add a little milk. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with snipped chives before serving.


This soup is the sophisticated chilled version of a peasant recipe for potato leek soup. It was created in 1917 by the French chef Louis Diat when he was working at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York. Inspired by memories of his mother's cooking, he named it after Vichy, the spa town near his childhood home.