Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January is National Soup Month!

January is National Soup Month! Of all comfort foods that help to warm you up on a cold, winter day or night, soup is my favorite. I also love to make soup as it is a fantastic way to deal with leftovers from the holidays, as well as "sneak" in some veggies for my kids!

In addition, I have already posted about how January is National Bread Machine Baking Month, so what better than to create a great meal of homemade soup AND bread!

I am going to be very selfish and highlight two of my favorite soups, French Onion and Tomato. Both of these wonderful recipes are from www.Epicurious.com, one of my favorite resources on the web for great recipes and other food info!

(image from www.Epicurious.com, photo by: Romulo Yanes)

French Onion Soup
Gourmet, December 2006

Yield: Makes 6 (light main course) servings
Active time: 45 min
Total time: 1 1/2 hr

This version of the classic is gorgeously cheesy, not gunky. Slow cooking gives the broth depth of flavor and a silky texture.

Ingredients:

2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
1 (1/2-lb) piece Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Special equipment: 6 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins; a cheese plane

Preparation:

Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes.

Remove croûtes from oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan.

Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese plane to cover tops of crocks, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Cooks' note:
Soups and croûtes can be made 3 days ahead (but do not add croûtes and cheese to soup); cool completely, uncovered, then chill soup, covered, and keep croûtes in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat soup before proceeding with recipe.

(image from www.Epicurious.com, photo by: Romulo Yanes)

Spicy Tomato Soup
Gourmet December 2004

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min

We prefer the taste of organic canned tomatoes in this particular recipe, as they tend to be sweeter. If using other canned tomatoes, you might want to add a bit more sugar to balance their acidity

Ingredients:

2 (28- to 32-oz) cans whole tomatoes in juice (preferably organic)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile including seeds
2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (18 fl oz)
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Preparation:

Drain 1 can tomatoes, discarding juice, then purée with remaining can tomatoes (including juice) in a blender.

Cook onion, garlic, chile, and ginger in oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy nonreactive pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in puréed tomatoes, broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Working in 3 or 4 batches, blend soup in blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer soup as blended to a sieve set over a large bowl and force through sieve, discarding seeds.

Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Reheat in cleaned saucepan if necessary.

Please feel free to leave comments or let me know if you have any special soup recipes or resources that you would like to share with during National Soup Tea Month!



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1 comment:

kim* said...

o my looks delicious! the hard work has to be a pay off at meal time.