National Vichyssoise Day is celebrated on November 18 each year in the U.S. It is the day we recognize and relish the hearty soup made using pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. The soup’s name might be hard to pronounce because it is French, but it is usually pronounced as ‘vish-i-swaz.’ The soup is loved by many because of its thick and creamy texture; it is very easy to prepare and makes for a filling meal. Although the soup is traditionally eaten as a cold dish, you can vary the temperature according to your preference.
History of National Vichyssoise Day
In 19th-century France, soup recipes made using pureed leeks and potatoes were common. French cookbooks from those times called these soups ‘Potage Parmentier’ or ‘Potage à la Parmentier’ named after the French nutritionist and scholar Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who helped pioneer the use of potatoes in 18th century France. These soup recipes were similar to the Vichyssoise soup.
Culinary historians haven’t been able to pinpoint one clear origin of this soup. One narrative of its history dates back to King Louis XV of France who, in his fear of being poisoned, asked his servants to taste a potato leek soup he had been served, and by the time he started eating it, it had gone cold. Julia Child offered another narrative and called it “an American invention.” Her version claims that in 1917, a French chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City called Louis Diat, who grew up in a small town called Vichy in France, adapted his mother and grandmother’s potato and leek soup recipe, which led to the birth of Vichyssoise. Diat’s interview in 1950 in the “New Yorker” magazine confirmed this story.
The New Yorker article also mentioned that the soup derived its name from the town, Vichy, and was called ‘Crème Vichyssoise Glacée.’ A hot version of the same soup prepared by the French chef Jules Gouffé also existed in a cookbook in 1869.
National Vichyssoise Day timeline
Soup recipes using pureed leeks and potatoes are common and even seen in French cookbooks from that time.
The French chef Jules Gouffé’s recipe is a hot soup that resembles the Vichyssoise soup.
French chef Louis Diat adapts his family’s potato and leek soup recipe and makes the soup for the first time in America at the Ritz-Carlton.
The magazine publishes an interview with Louis Diat where he talks about his family recipe and how the soup is named after his hometown, Vichy.
National Vichyssoise Day FAQs
What does ‘Vichyssoise’ mean in French?
The word refers to the cream of leek and potato soup, and the soup’s name was derived from the French town, Vichy.
How long can you store Vichyssoise in the fridge?
You can keep the soup in the fridge for about a week.
Is National Vichyssoise Day a public holiday?
National Vichyssoise Day is not a public holiday, but it sure is yummy!
How To Celebrate National Vichyssoise Day
Make your own Vichyssoise soup
Get in that DIY spirit this National Vichyssoise Day, locate the recipe in a cookbook or on the internet and make it for yourself and your loved ones.
Post pictures on social media
Never lose an opportunity to show off your cooking skills to your followers. Prepare the soup and upload a picture of it on Instagram to get some mouths drooling.
Have a family dinner
Use this day to reconnect with your family and go out for dinner. Order the Vichyssoise at your local restaurant for a hearty and wholesome dinner.
5 Facts About Vichyssoise
Anthony Bourdain was a Vichyssoise fan
The famous chef, Anthony Bourdain, listed the soup as one of his favorite foods and included the recipe in his first cookbook, “Kitchen Confidential.”
Vichyssoise’s cameo appearance in Batman
In Batman Returns, Bruce Wayne tries the soup and exclaims, “It’s cold!” to Alfred, his butler, and Alfred confirms by saying that “It’s supposed to be cold.”
If potatoes and leeks aren’t for you, why not try a different version like Cauliflower Vichyssoise, Avocado Vichyssoise, or Carrot-Ginger Vichyssoise.
Vichyssoise is a summer soup
Louis Diat’s family had the soup to soothe the summer heat by pouring in cold milk to lower the soup’s temperature.
Vichyssoise soup is healthy
The soup is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, proteins, and Calcium.
Why We Celebrate National Vichyssoise Day
It’s a hearty meal
The soup makes for a good meal since it is very filling and wholesome. It’s also a day to remind ourselves to eat well.
To appreciate different kinds of cuisine
Many people who don’t know about this soup will learn about it thanks to this day. It allows us to be thankful for the delicious varieties that our cuisines have to offer.
It makes people happy
A happy tummy is a happy soul. Eating yummy dishes is good for our mental health and wellbeing.
National Vichyssoise Day dates