Apricot and Apple Soup

This is an unusual combination and is great as a starter, either hot in winter or iced in summer.

Serves: 6

1lb. Fresh Apricots or 3/4 Ib. ready-to-use Dried Apricots
1lb. Dessert Apples (peeled, cored, and chopped)
2 sticks Celery (chopped)
3-4 sprigs Fresh Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
1 1/2 quarts very Light Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
A little Salt
Juice of 1 Lime
2/3 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Toasted Slivered Almonds (for garnish)

1. Put the apricots, apples, celery, parsley, bay leaf, and stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Lift out the parsley and bay leaf with a slotted spoon and discard. Allow the mixture to cool a little.

2. Pureé the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to a clean saucepan, if the soup is to be served hot, or put in a large bowl. Add a little salt and the lime juice and stir in the cream.

3. To serve the soup hot, reheat it gently but do not allow it to boil. To serve it cold, chill for several hours and serve with 2-3 ice cubes floating in it. Toasted flaked almonds make a good garnish for the soup, either hot or cold.

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