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Soup: A Way of Lifeby Barbara Kafka
Curried Onion Soup
The onions are not browned in this recipe. For a soothing soup, you can add a cup of heavy cream and additional salt to taste.
1/4 pound (120g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (30g) curry powder
4 large onions, cut into chunks
4 cups (1 liter) Basic Chicken Stock (page 345) or commercial chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or less if using commercial broth
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, optional
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Pour in the stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the onions are very soft.
In a blender, working in batches of no more than 2 cups (500 ml), puree the soup until very smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the jar. Scrape the puree back into the pan. The soup can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated.
Heat the soup through. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lime juice, salt, and if using, the heavy cream
Makes 7 cups (1.75 liters) without cream; 8 cups (2 liters) with; 6-8 first-course servings
Garlic Soup with Poached Eggs
Let the bread sit at room temperature for several hours, or overnight, until dry.
Garlic Broth (page 86)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Eight 1/4-inch- (.5-cm-) thick slices French bread, dried
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a large deep frying pan, combine the garlic broth, salt, and pepper over medium heat. Arrange the bread slices around the edge of the pan, slightly overlapping them and leaving a circle about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter in the center. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a lively simmer. Crack the eggs into the pan so they form a ring, without touching, toward the center of the pan. (If preferred, crack the eggs one at a time onto a saucer and slide them into the broth.) Cook just until the whites and the surface of the yolks are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon broth over the tops of the yolks if they aren't submerged.
To serve, ladle the broth and bread into large warm soup bowls and top each with an egg. Pass Parmesan at the table.
Makes 4 first-course servings
This is really a base for other soups that can also be served on its own--but consider adding some jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice; or diced tomato, chopped parsley, matchsticks of zucchini, and thinly sliced basil; cooked peas and small leaves of spinach; lemongrass, curry leaves, and lime juice; or any other seasoning group that seems enjoyable.
3 small heads garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste, optional
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, optional
Cut the garlic cloves in half lengthwise and, if necessary, remove the green germ growing throughout the center.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Stir in the garlic cloves and cook, stirring often, until the outside of the garlic is translucent and cloves are soft, about 20 minutes. Don't let the garlic brown.
Pour in 9 cups (2.25 liters) water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. The garlic will be very tender. To eat the broth on its own, season with salt and pepper to taste; or use as a stock.
Makes 8 cups (2 liters); 8 first-course servings
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