Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

A delectable creamy-textured soup, Jeru-salem Artichoke Soup makes a delicious first course to a lunch or dinner party.

The soup may be made in advance and reheated just before serving.

1 oz. butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tablespoons flour

2 pints chicken stock

10 fl. oz. bechamel sauce

10 fl. oz. double cream

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chervil

2 lb. Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, boiled and drained

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the garlic and cook, stirring occa- sionally, for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the stock, being careful to avoid lumps. Stir in the bechamel sauce, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the chervil and artichokes.

Return the pan to high heat and bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the pan and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup through a strainer held over a large, warmed soup tureen. Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the arti-chokes through the strainer. Stir the soup well and serve immediately.

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