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Friday, February 8, 2013

Cold Blizzard, Hot Soup

Nemo has descended upon the Northeast, and I can't think of a better day than today to share some warm and comforting soup recipes to help get you through the storm.

French Onion Soup
1/2 Stick unsalted butter
2 LBS medium onions, thinly sliced
3 Springs fresh thyme
Bay leaf
3/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
2 TSP flour
3/4 Cup dry white wine
1/2 Cup apple butter
1/4 Cup soy sauce
4 Cups low-sodium beef broth
1-1/2 Cups water

For Serving:
Baguette slices
Grated Gruyère cheese

Three words.  French.  Onion. Soup.  I put a twist on the classic with a few "secret" ingredients borrowed from America's Test Kitchen.  Apple butter and soy sauce may sound weird, but they add complexity and yumminess that can't be achieved with store-bought broth alone.  Serve with extra cheesy bread to soak up that delicious broth!

Heat butter over medium-low heat in a heavy soup pot.  Add onion, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.  Cook onions, stirring frequently, until they are soft and and nicely browned, about 45 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add the wine, apple butter and soy sauce, cook for a few more minutes.  Add the broth and water and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Discard the thyme and bay leaf.

When ready to serve, top each baguette slice with the cheese and broil until brown and bubbly.  Serve on top of soup.

Creamy Broccoli-White Bean Soup
Adapted from Whole Living
1 LB Broccoli, cut into small florets, stems peeled and sliced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Yellow onion, diced
1 Can white beans, drained
3 Cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 Cup fresh parsley
2 TBS lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Far from your average cream of broccoli, this soup will remind you that springtime is just a few short months away with its bright flavor and color.  The beans create the creamy texture, so no actual cream is necessary.  Oh, and some cheesy bread on the side wouldn't hurt here either!

Steam the broccoli until bright green, about 3 minutes. Shock in an ice bath, drain, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent. Add beans and stock; bring to a simmer. Add the parsley and lemon juice. Remove from heat and add broccoli. Purée in batches with your blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.