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Honeyed Potato and Tomatilla Salsa Dueto

(created in honor of Pope John Paul II's triumphant return to Mexico)

Visually resplendant--and gastronomically exciting--this double soup is easy to make and worth it even if it weren't. The sweetness and creaminess of the potato soup foundation perfectly sets off the complex tang of the serrano chile-tomatillo soup swirled into its center--and they are scrumptious eaten together with a sprinkling of finely chopped red pepper. Serve this spectacular first course to 4-6 people in flat soup plates as a first course.

The Honeyed Potato Soup

The Serrano-Tomatillo Soup

Garnish: finely minced sweet red pepper

Make the potato soup in one large saucepan: Bring the stock to a boil, add the potato and onion chunks, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Puree in a blender, then blend in the cream and the honey. Pour back into the saucepan and keep on a bare simmer.

Make the serrano-tomatillo soup in another saucepan: Bring the water to a boil, add the whole tomatillos and serranos, and salt lightly. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Puree in a blender with the chopped cilantro. Heat the lard in the saucepan and saute the finely chopped onion until transparent. Pour in the soup, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, pour the potato soup into each flat soup bowl in equal portions, not filling too high. Carefully pour a scant cup of the tomatillo soup directly in the middle of each bowl of potato soup and swirl through. Sprinkle the chopped red pepper in the center of each and serve immediately.