Potage Ă  la Julienne (Julienne Soup)

What gives this soup it’s name is the way all of the vegetables are sliced in it. They are all done up “Julienne Style” or in thin matchstick pieces. Back in Victoria’s time, this was all done by hand, but if you have a food processor, it will definitely help with the cutting. For those of you that get a kick out of this kinda thing (like I do), I found an old recipe for this soup that was published during the time. I hope you find my modernized version a little easier to make 🙂

Potage a la JulienneVegetable Soup Julienne
Serves 6-8 people

4 carrots (if you are able to get them use a purple carrot as well, it looks amazing)
4 turnips
2 celery stalks
4 red cabbage leaves*
4 green cabbage leaves*
6 stalks of chard*
4 leeks*
4 spring onions*
12 French green beans
2 litre vegetable or chicken stock
4 tablespoons margarine
salt, pepper to taste
Few sprigs of tarragon or marjoram*
1 clove of garlic, grated into a paste
2 cups cold water and a squeeze of lemon juice

* Click here to learn how to clean these vegetables and herbs.

Once all your vegetables are cut into thin batons, add the red and green cabbage, the chard, and beans to the cold water with lemon juice.

In a large soup pot, melt the margarine over a low heat until it is just foaming. Add the carrots, turnips, leaks and onions and garlic paste. Sauté in the margarine for about four minutes, or until tender.

Strain the water from the soaked vegetables, and add them to the pot, letting them sautĂ© for a minute or two, then add the vegetable or chicken stock. Let the soup gently simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Add half of the tarragon or marjoram, and a squeeze of lemon juice, then let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Taste and add salt, pepper as desired, adding the last of the herbs just before serving.

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Victoria Day

So next weekend here in Canada we celebrate Victoria Day, after Queen Victoria of England who ruled from 1837 to 1901. It also kicks off the official beginning of the summer season in Canada, much like Memorial Day does in the States. Originally, (as in back in 1845), we observed the holiday on the actual Queen’s birthday, which was May 24th, however, over time it has become tradition to celebrate it on the last Monday before May 25th. What does this mean for me? No work on Monday! What does this mean for you? A week of Victorian Era recipes!

I actually came across a copy of a menu that was served to the Queen on May 15th, 1879. I am going to try a give a modern day version of some of the dishes served that night. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as she did!

Victoria Day MenuFor those of you not up on your French, the menu reads as follows:

Potages (Soups)
A la Tortue (Turtle Soup)
A la Julienne (Julienne Soup)

Poissons (Fish)
Whitebait (Fried Baby Herring or Sardines)
Le Saumon bouilli (Boiled Salmon)
Les Filets de Merlans frits (Fried Whiting Fillets)

Entrées (Mains)
Les Petite Pâtés à la Bechamelle (Small pies with Bechamel Sauce)
Les Ris de Veau, en escalopes sautées. (Sautéed Sweetbreads)
Les Filets de Canetons, aux pois. (Ducklings with Peas)

Relevés (**See note below)
Les Poulardes Ă  la Milanaise. (Chicken Milanese)
Roast Beef
Roast Mutton

RĂ´ts (Roasts)
Les Cailles Bardées (Quail in Bacon)
Les Poulets (Roast Chicken)

EntremĂŞts (Sweets)
Les Asperges Ă  la Sauce (Asparagus in Sauce)
Les petits Gàteaux de Compiegne (Little Compiègne Cakes)
Les Tartelettes merniguées à l’Italienne (Meringue Tarts – Italian Style)
Les Gelées d’Oranges oubannées (Jellied Oranges)

** My mom, who is awesome, y’all should meet her, helped me with the menu section of “RelevĂ©s” – First, I thought it was a b not a v in the word (that menu has tiny font) and two, I still didn’t know what RelevĂ©s meant – enter Google! Apparently, it means to relieve, or to remove, and was used in the following sense (according to Larousse Gastronomique, which is pretty much a food bible, so I believe it)

“Remove: Dish which in French service relieves (in the sense that one sentry relieves another) the soup or the fish. This course precedes those called entrees.”

Maybe because they were English they did it after the entrees? What can I say, when you’re Queen, you can have your meals served any way you want!