There are quite a few theories how this delicious cold soup came to be –and how it got its name but the most popular at the moment is that Louis Diat at The Ritz Hotel in New York wanted to make a cold soup for his guests in the summer of 1917. Anyone who has ever been in NY during summer will know that that was a fabulous idea and would go down a treat. He remembered how, when he was a child, he and his brother used to add cold milk to leftover potato and leek soup and decided to go with that idea by adding cream. The soup was a hit and still is today whenever it gets hot and steamy. Julia Child also has a version which is very popular, but she peels the potatoes as do many others–we don’t –get rid of all that goodness? No way.
It is simplicity itself to make and can be garnished with chopped chives or croutons, by using full cream milk, even a dollop of full fat Greek yoghurt. Add a smidgeon of garlic to give it some zoom, but remember it is delicacy we are looking for here. The only thing I strongly suggest is to give it at least 6 hours in the fridge—we want it COLD, not room temperature. Take out the fridge 20 minutes before serving. The hot version is called Potage Parmentier but save that for winter.
INGREDIENTS serves 4
4 potatoes cut into quarters or use baby ones, a handful or two
6/8 baby leeks only white part
500 mls good chicken or veg stock
Bring first 4 ingredients to boil and then simmer for 30 or 40 minutes till soft.
Bring to room temperature and tase for seasoning—add to taste if necessary .
Using stick or other blender incorporate fully.
Add cream and place in fridge. Stir—do not blend.
Garnish and serve with a great white wine like the one we used.