Saturday, January 21, 2012

50 Women Game Changers #1 Julia Child - Potage Celestine

For some time some of the blogs I read on a regular basis have been doing this 50 Women Game Changers challenge started by Mary from One Perfect Bite after the May 2011 article in Gourmet.  I've been wanting to join in the fun, but have been full of excuses.  This year my goal is to do it my self!  Even though the rest are all the way up to #31 and I'm starting at the bringing I'm still excited.

Is it any question as to who the number one person on this list is.  I hope not, for Mrs. Julia Child really needs no introduction.  However, I need to tell you about my introduction to Julia.  Like most people I had heard of Julia Child, though I did not have her cookbooks or recipes around while I was growing up. My appreciation of her did not start to grow until the movie Julie and Julia.  You know the movie that sparked many a young woman (like me!) to appreciate Julia Child.  After the movie I had to read the book Julie and Julia by Julia Powell and then her second book Cleaving.  But my obsession with Julie Powell will have to wait for #50 in the challenge since she was named one of the Women Game Changers in Food too!

After that I thought hey I'm a twenty-something on the verge of thirty.  I need to do something with my life why don't I do as Julie Powell and cook my way through Mastering the Art of French cooking.  Things did not go as planned.  Such is life.

For Christmas last year (2010) I was able to get my hands on a copy of both books for a really good price.

Here are my posts on the subject from over the past year:

MtAoFC: Part 1

MtAoFC: Part 2

Soupe au Pistou

Boeuf Bourguignon

Roti De Porc Poele or Casserole-roasted pork

Bouef aux Olives

Potage Parmentier

Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons

Reine de Saba

Tarte aux Fraises

Quiche aux Champignons

Mousseline au Chocolat

Coquilles st. Jacques a la Provencale

So for my newest recipe I've delved into MtAoFC vol II

Potage Celestine 
Celery soup with potatoes, leeks and rice

Really I should call this recipe or at least the one I made liquidy mashed potatoes.
Adapted from MtAoFC part 2 page 15 and 16.



  • The white part of 2 leeks, sliced
  • 3 cups sliced celery stalks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups light chicken stalk
  • 1/3 cup plain white rice 
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups milk heated in a small pan
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons soft butter 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon 
  • Cook the leeks and celery slowly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover until tender but not browned.
  • About 10 minutes 
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in rice.
  • Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile, bring the potatoes with the 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  
  • When tender, drain their cooking water into the leeks and celery.
  • Puree the potatoes.
  • Return to the saucepan and beat in the milk to make a smooth, white cream
  • Puree the leak and celery mixture with its liquid into the potato cream. 
  • Blend well with wire whip and bring to a simmer.
  • Season to taste   
  • Mash the 4 to 6 tablespoons of soft butter and tarragon in the soup tureen.
  • Blend the hot soup into the herb butter.
  • Serve immediately.  

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