As the weather gets cooler, try this recipe for Vichyssoise Soup, topped with a delicious Bacon and Parmesan Crumble

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
3 medium sized leeks, cut into rounds
900g starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
several sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock , if you’re not doing the vegetarian option
1/3 cup single cream
1 cup full cream milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

For the bacon crumble:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 strips smoked, back bacon
1/2 cup, day old ciabatta breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

How to
In a deep saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil. Sauté the shallots and leeks until soft and just starting to colour. Add the potatoes, thyme leaves and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the bay leaves and stock. Simmer with the lid on for 35 minutes. Check that the potatoes are tender and soft. Remove the bay leaves and transfer to a blender. Blitz in batches until smooth.

Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the cream, milk and parmesan cheese. Bring back up to a simmer and whisk with a balloon whisk to incorporate the cheese thoroughly.

For bacon crumble, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Brown the bacon on both sides until crispy and well coloured. Drain on a paper towel. Chop the bacon into fine pieces. Add the ciabatta crumbs to the pan and fry until golden and crisp. Season the croutons with a little salt and pepper.

Add the bacon to the breadcrumbs and stir through the 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Set aside to cool and crisp up. Serve the crumble topping alongside the soup.

Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email

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