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Cream of Lettuce Soup

ingredients

serves: 6 - 8
2 medium-sized young lettuces
5 cups milk
1 small white onion, quartered
3 parsley stalks
1 clove
1 bay leaf
90 g (3 oz) butter
2 teaspoons plain flour
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream
chopped parsley for garnish
croutons

method

1. Discard coarse outer leaves of lettuce. Shred lettuce finely, rinse under running cold water and dry thoroughly.

2. Heat milk slowly to scalding point with onion, parsley, clove and bay leaf (about 20 minutes).

3. Strain and discard flavourings.

4. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan, stir in flour, cook for about 1 minute.

5. Add scalded milk gradually, stirring all the time over moderate heat until just below boiling point.

6. Add shredded lettuce and simmer gently over very low heat for 30 minutes.

7. Stand soup on an asbestos mat to avoid burning. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

8. Rub soup through a sieve or puree in an electric blender.

9. Return puree to clean saucepan, place over moderate heat and bring almost to the boil. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

10. Beat egg yolks with cream. Add with remaining butter to simmering puree, stirring continuously.

11. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve croutons separately.

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