Despite the French name, vichyssoise was invented in America at a New York French restaurant. Another surprise (to me, anyway): All the versions of vichyssoise I’ve ever loved had ham in the recipe, although not visibly in the soup.
Classic vichyssoise is a cold leek-and-potato soup. But we don’t always have to do the classics. The late chef Tom Cowman used to do variations with watercress, bell peppers, and other colorful infusions when he was at Restaurant Jonatha