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Roasted Apple-Garlic Soup
with Toasted Walnuts

Talk about a conversation piece--this rich tasting, complex, many-layered soup is a powerful, strangely sweet start to a meal. Serve it before roast meat or chicken--or serve giant servings with lots of bread and salad as a vegetarian meal. It's pretty easy to make. Serve hot to 6-8 people as a first course--to 4 as a meal with accompaniments.

Garnish: toasted walnuts and green onion, finely minced

Cut off the tops of the garlic bulbs, about 1/4-inch deep, then rub the bulbs lightly with olive oil. Seal the garlic bulbs and whole apples in tin foil--then seal them in another layer as well. Put on a cooking sheet and bake in a 375 F. degree oven for 45 minutes, until they are soft.

While the garlic and apples are roasting, bring the stock to a boil and toss in a bouquet garni of thyme, peppercorns, and bay (if you don't have modern technologies, just seal these ingredients in tin foil and poke little holes in the foil before tossing in). Reduce heat and simmer.

When the garlic and apples are done, unseal and let cool for a few minutes. Squeeze the garlic out of their clove packages and discard the skin. Mince the paste finely, in all directions, then add to the simmering broth. Do the same with the apples, discarding the core and skin. Toss in the finely diced potatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the soup well flavored. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the mixture of minced green onions and toasted walnuts.