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Buttermilk Vichyssoise with Watercress

  • Servings: 6
Buttermilk Vichyssoise with Watercress

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2003


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced into half-moons, washed well and drained
  • 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
  • 3 cups cleaned watercress leaves, loosely packed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup buttermilk and 1 cup half-and-half)


  1. Melt butter in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and cook, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Add potatoes, stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely; stir in 2 cups watercress.

  3. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer pureed soup to a large bowl. Season with salt and white pepper. Stir in half-and-half, if using; chill at least 1 hour. Add buttermilk just before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed. If necessary, thin the soup with a bit more chicken stock or water to achieve desired consistency. Garnish with remaining cup watercress leaves.


Reviews (1)

  • Tessie 4 Apr, 2013

    Excellent recipe! I prefer this to the French recipe I've always used with heavy cream. The potato makes it as thick as cream would, and buttermilk gives it a lovely taste & texture. I made the base recipe and put in the fridge to give me options: on Saturday I heated it up with heavy cream for a friend who preferred hot soup, and it was delicious; also take it to work with a jar of buttermilk to add just before eating (cold) and EVERYONE loves it! [NB: Do not use buttermilk in hot soup!]

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