Brie and Pear Soup
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, "there are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." Luckily, this soup is perfect anytime. Use Bartlett pears in the early fall, ripe Comice in the winter, fragrant Bosc and Anjou when available. Make sure the Brie is also ripe, preferably a double-creme from France.
Peel the pears. Cut them in thick slices, removing the seeds. Put the chicken broth and pears in a large pot and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until the pears are very soft. Transfer the pears and broth to a food processor and process until very smooth. Return to the pot and simmer. Trim the rind from the brie and cut the cheese into small pieces. Slowly add the cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until melted. The soup should be creamy and smooth.
Garnish with whole pink peppercorns or lightly toasted sliced almonds.