Spring-Pea-and-Spinach Vichyssoise

spring-pea-and-spinach vichyssoise
Photo: Pamu LLC
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins

Martha's chilled soup is a healthy, refreshing appetizer and a great make-ahead dish; it needs time to chill before you serve it at your next summer cookout or garden party. Peas and baby spinach give it vibrant green color, while puréed potatoes and leeks lend a creamy texture and hearty base reminiscent of the classic vichyssoise, created by French chef Louis Diat over a hundred years ago.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced and well washed (6 cups)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)

  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought vegetable broth

  • 1 ½ cups shelled fresh or frozen peas

  • 2 packed cups baby spinach or stemmed spinach leaves

  • Whisked crème fraîche and fresh chervil leaves, for serving (optional)


  1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add leeks, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes.

  2. Add peas; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes (or 2 minutes, if frozen). Stir in spinach and remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and purée until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes a batch (remove center cap from lid and cover opening with a clean kitchen towel, which allows steam to escape). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, if desired, for silkiest texture.

  4. Transfer to a large bowl (ideally metal); set bowl in ice bath. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. Season with salt and pepper; thin with more water or broth if too thick. Serve in small cups, each with a dollop of crème fraîche, a sprig of chervil, and a sprinkle of pepper.

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