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Bistro Potato Soup With Tapenade

Bistro Potato Soup With Tapenade "A versatile soup, it can be made with any combination of stock and garnishes; seafood stock with shrimp or fish and asparagus stock with blanched asparagus tips and watercress pure are two of our favorites," writes Caprial Pence in her most recent book, 'Caprial's Soups & Sandwiches.'

2 tablespoons olive oil

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3 medium onions, julienned

6 cloves garlic, minced

5 pounds red or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice

9 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade, although good-quality canned stock is fine, too)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 pound Gorgonzola, crumbled

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Freshly ground black pepper

Tapenade (recipe follows)

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until hot. Saut the onions and garlic until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Pure the solids and return solids and liquid to the pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the vinegar, hot sauce, and half the Gorgonzola. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with the remaining Gorgonzola and the tapenade.

Serves 6 to 8.

TAPENADE 1/2 cup pitted, cured black olives

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon capers

1 oil- or salt-packed anchovy fillet, drained

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, capers, anchovy, and lemon juice, and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder tube and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1/2 cup.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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