GOURMET CELERY AND ALMOND SOUP

  • 1 large leek
  • 1 bunch Michigan celery, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, scraped & quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 cups canned diluted chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • ΒΌ cup ground, blanched almonds

Garnish with toasted sliced natural almonds and whipped creamRemove and discard root, tough outer leaves, and tops of leeks to where the dark green begins to pale. Chop leeks. Position knife blade in food processor bowl.Add leek, celery, carrot, onion - process until coarsely chopped. Saute' chopped vegetables in butter in a Dutch oven until tender. Add broth and salt, and stir well. Place parsley, thyme and bay leaf on a piece of cheesecloth securely. Add to celery mixture in Dutch oven. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer (uncovered) 1 hour. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Transfer celery mixture to processor bowl, and process until smooth. Let cool slightly. Add half-and-half and almonds, stirring well to combine. Ladle into individual soup bowls. Garnish if desired. Yield: 6 cups

From Literally Delicious, Abington Friends School Parents' Association, submitted by Barbara Brodie.