Cream of Lettuce Soup
Submitted by: Merribuck
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped
4 cups (1 liter) milk or chicken stock
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
salt and freshly grated pepper to taste
a grating of fresh nutmeg
Heat the butter in a heavy pot over moderate heat and saute the onion until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Add the lettuce and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Puree in batches in an electric blender or food processor. Return to the pot and stir in the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serves 4 to 6.

Whistle Stop Cafe Oyster Stew
Submitted by: Merribuck
2 12-ounce containers fresh select oysters, including liquor
3 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces (I used turkey bacon)
2 medium red potatoes, 1/2" dice, boiled until tender, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced (or more if you're a garlic lover!)
1 14-ounce can creamed corn
3 cups half-and-half (or 2 cups half-and-half and 1 cup milk), pre-warmed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste (I use a lot!)
several dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste
1/3 cup minced fresh curly parsley, to garnish
1/2 cup minced scallions (both white and green part) to garnish

Drain oysters, reserving liquor. Fry bacon until crisp in a large heavy saucepan. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to paper towels to drain. Add onion and celery to bacon drippings and saute until tender. Add potatoes, garlic, creamed corn, reserved oyster liquor, half-and-half, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add oysters and bacon; cook 3 minutes or until edges of oysters begin to curl. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with parsley and scallions. Yield: 6 servings.

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