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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Creamy Cream Soups

Cream of…soup?
                Cream soups may seem like a daunting task for those who haven’t attempted before, but they are really a simple and delicious addition to your cooking repertoire.  Once you know how to make the basic well, base… the sky’s the limit.  I have made it with broccoli, potato, mushrooms, and chicken. Take it on, and I’m sure you’ll like it!
Cream of potato soup, loaded style!
2 lg. potatoes
¼ c. crumbled bacon
2 c. milk
2 T chives, chopped
1 T parsley, chopped
1/3 c. shredded cheddar
Sour cream
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 T salt
Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender, cool, peel, and chop into 1 in. cubes. (good use for leftover potatoes)  In a saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour and salt, making a paste.  In a separate small pan, sauté the onions in a little butter or oil until tender.    The basis of any cream soup is a roux (rüe).  This flour paste is a roux, and you will want to cook it on med-low for about 3-4 minutes, whisking continuously, and letting it bubble, but not burn.  This will keep it from tasting like paste.  Add the milk slowly, a bit at a time, whisking until smooth.  Add the potato, bacon, cheese, chives, parsley, and onions.  Season with black pepper and cook on low until just thickened.  Be warned!! Once this soup begins to thicken, it will go from a pleasing thickness to goop reallllllly fast, so keep your eye on it.  If you get goop, simply add more milk and whisk well.  Serve topped with more shredded cheese, chives, and a dollop of sour cream.  This type of soup freezes well and can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.  I like to freeze it in individual portions for my eating pleasure!

Cream of broccoli soup
1 C fresh or frozen broccoli, cut into small pieces
½ tsp onion powder
4 T butter
3 T flour
2 C milk
1 T salt
Dash paprika
(½ c shredded cheddar) optional
Steam or boil broccoli until tender, reserve ½ c cooking liquid.  Make roux just like in the first recipe (see above) adding onion powder.  Gradually add milk and broccoli liquid, whisking constantly.  Add broccoli (and cheese) and cook on low until soup thickens.  Done!

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