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Cream of Sauerkraut Soup

4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine (Riesling if possible)
1/2 lb (250 g) fresh sauerkraut, thoroughly rinsed and squeezed dry
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
3 juniper berries, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 Tbs (45 ml) all-purpose flour
4 - 5 cups (1 - 1.25 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup (250 ml) creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 lb (100 g) bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the butter in a heavy pot over moderate
heat and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent,
3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add
the sauerkraut, apple, juniper berries, salt, and pepper and simmer
covered over low heat for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat
the remaining butter in a large sauce pan over moderate heat. Stir
in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock and whisk until
smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour the white
sauce over the sauerkraut mixture and stir to combine. Simmer for
30 minutes. Process in an electric food processor or blender and
strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the creme fraiche or sour
cream and heat over low heat - do not boil. Garnish with crumbled
bacon. Serves 4 to 6.


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