Cucumber and Lettuce Vichyssoise

by Susan Smith in ,

Continuing on from my last blog post extolling the virtues of resistant starch, I’ve been thinking about different ways to incorporate resistant starch into Primal Plate recipes. Vichyssoise nicely fits the bill because it’s not only a delicious summer soup to beat the imminent heatwave we’ve been promised for next week, it’s also a natty way to introduce more resistant starch into everyday food.

Now that the wedding season is upon me (oh boy, wedding photography is one of the toughest jobs!) and one of my rental properties has just become vacant and needs to be re-let (so many applicants to sift and sort), the inside of my head and fridge are stuffed full of food-related items that, although originally intended for several blog ‘works in progress’, still remain unused for lack of time.

I was therefore grateful to find this interesting Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from his book River Cottage Veg for Cucumber and Lettuce Vichyssoise, which not only neatly uses up some recent food purchases that would otherwise spoil and be thrown away, but also has been easily adapted to include resistant starch - both in its raw state and in the form of cooked and chilled white potato (retrograded). 

Although this soup is made from relatively cheap ingredients, do not be fooled - nor let the idea of cooked cucumber and lettuce dissuade you! It’s a classic. A really beautiful pale green, cooling and luxurious soup to be enjoyed in the garden at the height of summer. Fresh looking and tasting, it’s also perfect picnic fare.

Cucumber and Lettuce Vichyssoise (Serves 6)


2 tbsp (60g) butter

2 large leeks, trimmed (use white and pale green parts only) and sliced

1 large, starchy potato (about 250g / 8oz), peeled and cut into large chunks

2 pints vegetable stock (I used 5 level teaspoons of Marigold organic bouillon powder to 1 quart freshly boiled water) 

2 cucumbers, peeled and cubed

2 Little Gem or butterhead lettuces, shredded

2 level tbsp green banana flour

3 tbsp heavy cream

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To finish:

Crème fraîche or double cream

Chopped chives



Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, cover, and sweat gently for about 10 minutes, until soft. 

Add the potato and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potato is almost cooked. 

Add the cubed cucumbers and shredded lettuce, return to a boil, and simmer for a further 4 minutes. Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes or so.

Scoop out the potato chunks and press them through a metal sieve into a large mixing bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon (whizzing these in a blender would make the soup gluey).

Using a large soup ladle, transfer the rest of the simmered mixture into a blender container and blitz to a smooth puree. You will probably need to do this in several batches. 

As each batch is processed, pass the pureed soup through a metal sieve into the mixing bowl containing the potato puree. 

When you get to the final batch, add 2 level tablespoons of green banana flour, then blitz and pass through a sieve as before. Stir the entire contents of the mixing bowl together to incorporate the potato puree, then add the double cream and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Leave to cool completely, then chill for a couple of hours, 

Serve the chilled soup topped with a swirl of cream or crème fraîche and some chopped chives. 


Carbohydrate 20g Protein 3g - per serving