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Cilantro Soup With Almonds
In celebration of Mexican Independence Day, try an emerald-green cilantro soup. - photo by Chicago Tribune

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 servings.

Adapted from a recipe by Cocinar Mexicano cooking school. Garnish with any combination of cilantro leaves, toasted almond slivers, juliennes of sauteed tortillas or fine ribbons of roasted ancho chili.

1 1/2 pounds cilantro with stems

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces whole blanched almonds

2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic

1/4 white onion

1/4 leek, white part, cut in 1/2-inch rings

1/2 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups milk

1 to 2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat a saucepan of water to a boil; add cilantro. Cook 3 minutes; drain. Place in ice-cold water or set on ice bath to stop cooking (this also keeps cilantro emerald green). Set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet; add almonds. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan; add garlic, onion and leek. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly add white wine, stirring until smooth and thick. Add milk; cook, stirring, until slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Pour into blender in small batches; blend until almost smooth. Pour back into saucepan; heat to a boil.

3. Meanwhile, chop cilantro into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in blender. Add chicken stock just to cover. Blend to a puree. Pour through a fine strainer; add to soup mixture. Add salt; heat to a boil over medium heat before serving.

Per serving: 427 calories, 64 percent of calories from fat, 30 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 19 g protein, 537 mg sodium, 7 g fiber

Chicago Tribune

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