Molly's French Onion Soup By Annie Copps

Monday, February 21, 2011
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french onion soup

Ooh la la have I got a winter warmer that will beckon you in from the cold: French Onion Soup! A classic bowl of oniony goodness that will fill you up,  warm you up, and delight you.

Forewarned is fore-armed... you are going to have to slice 3 pounds of onions. If just the thought makes you want to cry, you can use a food processor to get through the pile you'll be using. That being said, it may seem that you have far too many onions, but don't worry they'll cook down to about one-quarter of their original volume.

So, in a wide soup pot, melt butter and slowly cook down Mount Onion until they become soft and start to turn deep blonde in color&151;it's important that they not brown.

Stir in some flour and cook that for a bit, then add some wine, then beef (or chicken) stock, a sprig each of thyme and parsley and a bay leaf and simmer away for about a half hour.

Now, let's get serious. Ladle into bowls, lay toasted bread slices on top then grate some Gruyere cheese and until the cheese gets all melty, gooey, and glorious.

Yield: 6 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of yellow onions (about 6 large; larger onions means less peeling), thinly sliced
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups homemade beef or chicken stock or low-sodium store bought
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf tied together in a bundle
1 baguette, cut into ½[[[.5]]-inch rounds 1 ½ cups (about 6 ounces)
Shredded Gruyere cheese

In a large, wide soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they are very soft and have begun to turn a deep blonde, about 40 minutes (it is important they do not brown or cook too long).

Stir in flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour in wine and increase heat to medium-high, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any caramelized juices.

Cook until liquid is almost completely reduced. Add broth.

Tie herbs together with string or inside a piece of cheesecloth. Add herb bundle and bring to a simmer.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, the onions should be soft but not falling apart.

The soup may be made ahead up until this point and held for several hours or even a few days before serving.

To serve
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put baguette slices on an oven rack, and toast lightly, 7 to10 minutes. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Set six ovenproof soup crocks on a heavy baking sheet, and ladle hot soup into crocks. Float the toasts on the soup and top each with a handful (about 1/4 cup) of Gruyere.

Bake until the cheese is melted, bubbly and just barely golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve immediately when the cheese is gooey and the crock is very hot.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)


annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Miso Butter Pork Udon Noodles
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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One of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever had was a big bowl of Japanese udon noodles topped with—are you ready for this—miso butter. Yes, a combination of Japan’s traditional miso paste blended with our own very western butter. It’s a rich, savory marriage made in heaven—or nirvana—and today I’m am going to show you how to make it.

So without further ado, Miso-Butter Pork Udon Noodles, an all-in-one noodle dish that enhances one of my favorite duos, pork and apples. Let’s get cooking.

Serves 4

3 shallots, minced
1 pound ground naturally fed pork
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green separated
1/2 cup mirin
2 quarts chicken stock
1 apple, skin on, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons shiro miso
1 pound fresh ramen noodles, blanched
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a stockpot coated lightly with oil over medium high heat, saute shallots and pork. When pork is cooked through, add scallion whites and deglaze with mirin. Add chicken stock. Add apples and check for flavor. When simmering, whisk in miso over a strainer and check for flavor. Add ramen noodles and heat through. To serve, divide noodles and broth amongst 4 soup bowls and top each serving with scallion greens and pat of butter. Serve immediately.

chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Bloody Mary Scallop Ceviche
By Ming Tsai

Monday, August 9, 2010
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If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you’ve probably tasted kochu jang, a chile bean paste that packs more flavor in its pinkie than most condiments.

Today I’m using it in my master pair with one of the West’s top sauces, Worcestershire, another flavor monster. Together, they’re a force to be reckoned with, as you’ll see in today’s recipe: My Bloody Mary Scallop Ceviche. It brings one of my top drinks and one of my favorite appetizers together.

Serves 4

2 cups V-8 or tomato juice
3 tablespoons kochu jang
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced celery
1 shallot, minced
pinch celery salt
4 limes, 3 juiced, 1 reserved for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound fresh Bay scallops, foot removed, rinsed, drained (or use quartered sea scallops)

In a large bowl, combine V-8, kochu jang, Worcestershire sauce, celery, shallot, celery salt and lime juice. Check flavor and season, if necessary. Add scallops and stir to combine. Cover and place in fridge for 10 minutes. Serve in chilled martini glasses garnished with lime wedge.


chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, May 4, 2012
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spicy red beans

This is a quick and easy version of sopa de lima, a comforting yet refreshing Yucatan chicken soup made tangy with fresh lime juice. Tasty garnishes include fried tortilla strips (or tortilla chips), diced avocado, and fresh cilantro.

Serves four.


12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small white onion (8 oz.), chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced
1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
1 15-oz. can hominy, drained
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano, crumbled if the leaves are large
4 to 5 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2-1/2 oz. cotija or feta cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1/2 cup)


Cut each chicken breast crosswise into 1-1/2-inch-wide pieces.

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the broth, hominy, oregano, and chicken. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, top with the cheese, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 680; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 4;


Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Smoky Tomato Soup

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, April 20, 2012
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spicy red beans

Yields 4

A combination of bacon and smoked paprika gives this tomato soup a strong profile that goes perfectly with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Go with the sweet pimentón for a rich taste with little heat, or try the hot for a spicier kick in the soup.


1 Tbs. olive oil
3 thick strips bacon (about 3 oz.), thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. sweet or hot pimentón (smoked paprika)
One 28-oz. can whole tomatoes and their juices (3 cups) (preferably San Marzano)
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2 Tbs. heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper


Put the oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders most of its fat, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; let drain and cool, and then coarsely chop. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onion softens and starts to brown lightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, 2 tsp. thyme, and the pimentón, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the flavors meld, about 15 to 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a regular blender, purée the soup. Return the soup to the pan, stir in the cream, and bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed, ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve sprinkled with the bacon pieces and the remaining thyme.

Serving suggestions:

What better partner for tomato soup than a Classic Grilled Cheese? Or to mix it up a little, try a Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich with Tapenade.

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Pasta E Fagioli By Annie Copps

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
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bowl of pasta e fagioli

When the stars make you drool, just like a pasta fazool, that's amore… Or so the big Dean Martin song goes. Once you try this recipe for pasta e fagioli, a hearty and delicious soup made from pasta and beans, I think you'll find some love in a bowl.

This take on the classic soup comes from by dear friend Anthony Giglio, who is a bit of a renaissance man with an encyclopedic knowledge of wine, story telling abilities of a bard, and the generosity of a saint. His recipe comes from his Neapolitan grandmothers who made this cucina povera staple when cranberry beans were fresh in the markets, or for Friday suppers that weren't during meatless Lent.

Yield: 8 servings

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 pork spare ribs
1 cup crushed plum tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
2 8-oz cans cranberry or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth (low sodium)
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound tubettini or small shells pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish

In a large soup or sauce pot over medium high heat, saute onion in olive oil until golden, then add carrot and celery, stirring to coat well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Push vegetables to the edges of the pan and add pork chops, browning them gently on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir well, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.

Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove meat from bones, roughly chop, and return to soup.

Scoop out half the beans and pass through food mill over the pot, or pulse in blender and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Before adding pasta to soup, make sure soup is liquid enough to handle the pasta (if somewhat thick, add a half cup of water, bring to boil), then add pasta and stir frequently to prevent sticking. (Soup will thicken as pasta absorbs the liquid). Remove from heat just before pasta is cooked through, al dente—about 6 minutes.

Add butter and cheese and stir well. Ladle soup in to warmed soup bowls and let rest at least five minutes; it will thicken more as it cools.

Swirl olive oil in a circle over each bowl and served with a pepper mill and bowl of cheese to pass at the table.
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue


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