Pistachios add mellow flavor to this hot soup, both as an ingredient
and as a crunchy garnish. You can serve small portions for a first
course, or offer heartier servings as a luncheon entree, along with a
crisp salad. Cream of Pistachio Soup 1-1/2 cups shelled (3 cups or 12
oz. in shell) natural, roasted, or roasted salted 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 Whole chives
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