Potage of Celery & Leek
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
Potage is a French term for a thick soup or stew; literally “potted dish,” the term hails from the middle ages. A potage can include meat, but this is a vegetable one – you can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken and olive oil for the butter if you wish to make it vegetarian; it will be different but yummy as well. A thin slice of herb butter floating on surface of the warm soap is lovely looking and tasting. Enjoy your potage with an Alsatian Pinot Gris, a non-oaked Chardonnay or Riesling Spätlese from the Mosel region.
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. Leeks (white part only)
  • 1 lb. Celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ⅓ cup white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 12 oz. gold potato (about two medium)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped French tarragon
  • Dash of Salt
  1. Thoroughly clean the leeks by slicing them in half lengthwise and soaking them in water allowing sand and mud to settle out.
  2. Chop the leeks and the celery into ¼ inch strips.
  3. Melt - do not brown - 4 tablespoons of butter on moderate heat in an 8-quart pot. Once the butter has melted add the leeks and celery and stir to coat the vegetables with the butter. Reduce heat, cover and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes.
  4. Uncover, stir, increase the heat and add the rice and chicken broth. Once is begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are all very soft – about 25 minutes.
  5. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ cubes. Boil until tender in the 1½ cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt – about 25 minutes.
  6. Place the soften butter, parsley, tarragon and salt in a small bowl and whip to combine. Place in the center of a sheet of wax paper – roll the wax paper over the butter and squeeze to create a small log. Refrigerate in wax paper.
  7. When a knife can easy push through the potatoes, drain them reserving the liquid.
  8. Warm the ½ cup milk until it starts to bubble, avoid allowing a skin to form. Please the warm milk and the potatoes in the blender and puree stopping as soon as they the mixture is smooth (do not over-blend).
  9. Remove vegetables from heat and puree the mixture in batches. Puree each batch on the highest setting of your blender for 60 seconds at a time. Taste the puree to make sure all the celery has dissolved and, if not, blend it longer.
  10. Return soup to cooktop and bring to gentle simmer add the reserved potato water and potato puree stirring on moderate heat until fully blended. Do not heat this soup on high, it will burn on the bottom of the pot.
  11. Serve soup garnished with a thin slice of the herbed butter – allow it sit on top of the soup for a moment to begin to melt and then give it a gentle stir.
Recipe by Pair The Wine at http://www.pairthewine.com/2015/02/potage-of-celery-leek/