This recipe from Chef Carl at Richmond Station is a treasure elevated by Ontario crème fraîche. Vichyssoise is a thick, creamy potato and leek soup most commonly served cold. There is some debate as to whether the soup’s culinary roots belong to France or America, but our favourite origin story is that King Louis XV of France, who was famously nervous he may be poisoned, ate it cold as a consequence of having so many servants taste it before he could be convinced it was safe to consume. Now a favourite of chefs everywhere, vichyssoise was reinvigorated in the early nineteenth century by Chef Louis Diat at New York City’s Ritz Carlton hotel.
For blanching leeks:
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add leeks and submerge in boiling water for 30-45 seconds. Remove leeks and transfer into a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.
For the vichyssoise:
Sweat onion, celery, leek and garlic in butter for 5 minutes.
Add in the potato and asparagus trim.
Add water and salt, simmer until potatoes are almost tender.
Add the cream and simmer for 10 more minutes being careful not to boil.
Remove from heat and purée in a blender or food processor on high adding in the blanched greens and raw asparagus as you go.
Pass through a fine chinois into a container sitting on top of ice to help the soup cool quickly.
Chef’s tip: If you don’t have a chinois, you can use a very fine strainer!
Adjust seasoning and consistency if necessary.
Serve the soup cold and garnish with a dollop of Ontario crème fraîche and a sprinkle of hazelnuts and herbs.