Searching for a classical soup
recipe, Taubin and Wright decided
to feature vichyssoise because it
is quick to prepare and is served
chilled, which is “perfect for hot days
when long-cooking soups heat the
To achieve this, pour the sweet
potato first, starting in the middle,
and then pour the white soup.
Using the back of a spoon, pull the
sweet potato into the white.
Local Duo Vichyssoise
Yield: 6 portions
Elaine Taubin, CEC
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Taubin has worked with many young
cooks and interns throughout her
career as a hotel chef. She often
reminds them how important it is
to build a culinary foundation on
classic recipes and basic techniques.
“Each cook can then apply his or her
style, but it all stems from mastering
the classics,” Taubin says.
Although a simple recipe, pay close
attention to ensure that the potatoes
are cooked soft so they purée
smooth, and that the soup is cooked
at a simmer, not a boil. “The trick to
working with thick soups is not to let
your heat source be too high,” Taubin
says. “Thicker soups can scorch
easily. Make sure you stir often.
You may also need to adjust the
consistency with a little extra cream
or stock once the soup has chilled.”
2 Tennessee sweet potatoes
2 Kennebec potatoes
½ Vidalia onion
2 oz. butter, divided
32 oz. natural chicken stock, divided
16 oz. heavy cream, divided
Salt, to taste
3 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 oz. blood orange purée
For the modern version of
vichyssoise, Taubin uses Kennebec
potatoes, plentiful in the South,
because they are hearty, have a
well-balanced flavor, hold together
well and do not become mealy. For a
contrast in color, and to complement
the sharpness of the leeks, she adds
Once you have a strong grasp on
the classical, explore the many
modern variations, such as using a
purple Peruvian potato with a white
potato, or leaving the soup chunky
and rustic, adding a pancetta crisp.
With a strong classical foundation
and respect for the recipe, the rest is
up to you.
The yin-yang design in the soup
shows that each soup has its own
identity while melding well together.
1. Peel both kinds of potato; cut
into 1-inch cubes. Keep separate.
Hold in cold water.
2. Julienne onion. Slice two leeks
¼-inch thick. Use white part only;
reserve green part for garnish.
Soak in cold water to remove all
3. Place two pots on medium heat.
Place 1 oz. butter in each; melt.
Sauté leeks in one pot until soft.
In the other, sauté onion until
4. Add Kennebec potatoes to leeks.
Add 16 oz. stock and 8 oz. cream.
Simmer. Add sweet potatoes to
onion. Add 16 oz. stock and 8 oz.
5. When potatoes are soft, remove
6. Purée with Bermixer. Keep potato
mixtures separate. Taste; adjust
seasoning. If too thick, add a little
more stock. Chill overnight.
7. Prior to service, check soup for
consistency. If too thick, add
8. Prepare garnish: Blend cheese
and blood orange purée. Thinly
slice reserved green parts of
leeks. Clean thoroughly; dry.
9. To serve: Pour into serving bowls
with sweet potato on one side
and white potato on the other.
Garnish with a quenelle of blood
purée and leeks.