• Pea-and-Parsnip Vichyssoise with Tarragon


Refreshing & Easy to Make

While the weather’s warm, I make gazpacho every week and keep it in the fridge, and love pureeing cucumber, dill, yogurt, hot chile, lemon juice and celery into a classic Turkish summer soup. But vichyssoise has the sexiest story. In 1950, Louis Diat, the great chef at New York City’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, told The New Yorker: “In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato-and-leek soup of my childhood that my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how, during the summer, my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.”

Pea-and-Parsnip Vichyssoise with Tarragon

Servings: makes 8 cups

Total: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and cubed parsnip
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • One 10-ounce bag frozen sweet baby green peas, thawed
  • 1  1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Snipped chives and small mint leaves, for garnish


In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnip, leeks, celery, onion, garlic, tarragon and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat for 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Add the peas to the pot and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, pressing on the solids. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the soup and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Season the chilled soup with lime juice, salt and white pepper. Garnish with the chives and mint and serve.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com
Photograph by Stephanie Meyer

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