Sweet potatoes, stock, and cream make a pale orange soup with a clear sweet-potato flavor. It has an earthy undertone of onions and leeks that is discernible but not strong enough to overwhelm the potatoes. This soup is served chilled. After you have made this soup once or twice and have become familiar with the proportion of vegetables to stock, you will almost be able to make it without a recipe. A hot soup will taste different after it has been chilled, and cooling the soup makes the salt and pepper less potent, so always reseason after chilling.
• The soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days; do not freeze.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date
Recipe Coursecold appetizer
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, rich, savory, sweet
Type of Dishcold soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 leeks, white part only, cleaned, halved lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch half-moon slices
- 4 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1½ quarts Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth, plus an extra ½ cup, if needed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Minced chives, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Add the leeks and sweat until soft and wilted but not colored, about 12 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and stock and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the cream, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer 2 minutes, skimming if necessary.
Pour into a blender, or keep in the pot and use a hand-held blender, and blend well. Strain through a medium or coarse strainer. Add the extra stock if the soup seems too thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well chilled.
Before serving, reseason and garnish with minced chives. Serve chilled.
Light cream or half-and-half can be substituted for the heavy cream.
To make a classic vichyssoise, substitute potatoes for sweet.
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1996 Debra Ponzek and Joan Schwartz