This rich potato and leek soup, thickened with cream and often served chilled, was created in New York in the 1920s by the French chef, Louis Diat. It was named, nostalgically, for his birthplace near Vichy.


  • 50 g ( oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) chicken stock
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, leek, celery and garlic. Cover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add the potato and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Cool a little before puréeing in a blender or food processor. Return to the clean saucepan.
  2. Bring the soup gently back to the boil and stir in the cream. Season with salt and white pepper and reheat without boiling. Serve hot or well chilled, garnished with chives.