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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Soups

Famous Barr's Department Store French Onion Soup with my addition of homemade croutons

Serves: 16, Yield: 4 Quarts
5 lbs onions, peeled
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons paprika
1 bay leaf
7 (16 ounce) cans beef broth, divided (recommended Swanson's)
1 cup dry white wine 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (such as Wondra) or 3/4 cup instant flour (such as Wondra)
caramel coloring (optional) or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
French baguette (optional)

swiss cheese or gruyere cheese 
Prep Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 4 1/2 hrs
Peel onions and slice 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor.
Melt butter in a 6-quart (or larger) stockpot. Add onions; cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
(The long cooking time makes the onions mellow and sweet.) Stir in pepper, paprika and bay leaf; saute over low heat 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
Pour in 6 cans broth and wine. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Dissolve flour in remaining 1 can broth.
Stir into boiling soup.
Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours.
Adjust color to a rich brown with caramel coloring, season with salt. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, heat soup in microwave or on stove top.
If desired, pour into ovenproof crocks or bowls.
Top with a home made croutons and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Heat under the broiler until cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Leftover soup can be frozen.

    One of my dear friends just made this soup and pointed out I needed to explain how to do the croutons.  Super Easy and SO worth it!

    French or Rustic bread is best, the nice thing about croutons is you can use bread you've stored in the freazer or slightly stale bread and they still turn our great.  Cut into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet, single layer in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the coloration, they should brown slightly.  SO GOOD!

    by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
    Linguiça, a garlicky Portuguese sausage, and andouille, a smoky Cajun sausage, are both available at most supermarkets.
    Yield: Makes 4 servings
    Active Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 45 minutes

    1 16-ounce bag dried green split peas (2 1/3 cups)
    12 ounces fully cooked smoked pork linguiça or andouille sausages
    8 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
    5 Turkish bay leaves
    3 to 4 cups coarsely chopped kale

    Combine split peas, whole sausages, 8 cups broth, and bay leaves in heavy large pot. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes.
    Transfer sausages to cutting board. Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-rounds.
    Puree soup (including bay leaves) 1 cup at a time in blender until smooth; return to same pot. Add sausages and greens. Thin with more broth if necessary. Simmer soup until greens soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    I used Trader Joe's Sweet Italian Sausage and it was delicious!

    Golden Potage Soup Served with Wheat Toast and Brie

    My first job out of college was was working for Brenda Langton at the late Cafe Brenda in Minneapolis and then Spoonriver by the Guthrie and Stone Arch Bridge.  Some of my favorite dishes out of her Cafe Brenda Cookbook are soups. 

    Potato Leek Soup

    I got this recipe from the Alice Waters "The Art of Simple Food" Cookbook, which my Brother in Law Rob gave to me a few Christmases ago. This is one of my favorite cookbooks because of its simple yet sensitive use of great ingredients.   I'm always using something fresh in a way that brings out the truest flavors. I got my leeks from the Oak Park Farmers Market.

    Makes 4-6 Servings

    Trim off the root and upper tough end from 2 Lbs. of Leeks
    Cut the trimmed leeks lengthwise in half and slice thinly.  Rinse in a bowl of cold water, let the leeks drain. 

    Melt over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot 3 T. butter
    Add the leeks along with: 
    2 thyme springs
    1 bay leaf

    Cook until soft, about 10 minutes and add: 
    1 lbs. yellow potatoes halved quartered and sliced into bite sized pieces
    Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes then add 6 cups of broth or water.
    (I used vegetable broth)

    Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.  Alice suggests to stir in 1/3 C. of heavy cream, but I left this out and was very happy with the simple broth. If you add the cream do not boil once it has been added.  She also suggests blending the soup before adding the cream, but I enjoyed the texture as it was.

    Garnish with parsley and fresh ground pepper

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