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Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke and Celery Soup

2 lb Jersualem artichokes; (sunchokes), peeled, sliced, and reserved in a bowl of cold water
6 c Sliced celery plus celery leaves for garnish
2 c Water
1 qt Chicken broth; (4 cups)
2/3 c Dry white wine
1 tb English-style dry mustard
2 c Half-and-half
1/8 ts Freshly grated nutmeg

In a stainless steel or enameled kettle combine the Jerusalem artichokes, drained, the sliced celery, the water, the broth, the wine, and the mustard and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. In a blender puree the mixture in batches, transferring it as it is pureed to a bowl, pour the puree into the kettle, cleaned, and stir in the half-and-half, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the soup over moderate heat, stirring, until it barely reaches a boil, ladle it into heated bowls, and garnish each serving, with a celery leaf.

Makes about 9 cups, serving 6 to 8 as a first course.

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