CREAM OF PISTACHIO SOUP
1 1/2 cups shelled (3 cups or 12 oz in shell) natural, roasted pistachios
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 large can (49-1/2 oz.) or 6 cups regular-strength chicken broth
1/4 cup long-grain white rice
2 parsley sprigs
1 small bay leaf
1 cup whipping cream
Rub off as much of the pistachio skins as possible, set nuts aside.
In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium heat, cook the onion, celery,
and garlic in the butter until onion is very limp but not brown,
about 10 minutes, stir often.
Add sherry, 3/4 cup of the pistachios, broth, rice, parsley, and
bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer
until rice is tender to bite, about 25 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
In a blender or food processor, whirl soup, a portion at a time,
until very smooth, pour through a wire strainer and discard residue.
Return soup to pan.
Add cream to soup and stir over medium-low heat until hot, 5 to 7
minutes. Garnish servings with whole chives and sprinkle with the
remaining pistachios. Make 6-1/2 cups, enough for 6 first-course
or 4 luncheon servings.