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Norman Apple and Potato Soup

(La Pommeraie Glacée)

Strangely delicate and not really sweet at all, this chilled soup from Normandy, France, is a marvelous first course to an autumn meal of roast duck or chicken with roasted root vegetables on the side. Serve chilled--or hot--to 4-6 people.

Garnish: 2 apples, peeled, cored, diced, and sauteed in 2 Tablespoons butter for 5 minutes, then drained on paper towels

Saute the leeks in the 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes. Toss in the apples and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes--coating them well with the butter. Pour in the stock, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

When the apples and potato are soft, puree in a blender--solids first--until smooth. Return to the saucepan, then stir in heavy cream, Calvados, and cinnamon. Season to taste. Refrigerate if you are going to serve cold--in which case you will want to overseason a bit. Saute the apple dice garnish in 2 Tablespoons of butter, then let drain on paper towels until you are ready to serve.

When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls (reheat first, if you are serving hot) and top with the apple dice garnish.