Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recipe of the Moment: Finishing Touches for Soups

I've never been one to put crackers in my soup, even though apparently that's popular. When I first learned that it was common, I thought it was because people like the crunchiness of the crackers with the liquid soup, or maybe the extra salt was the reason? Then I tried it and quickly discovered crackers turn to mush when they've been in your soup for too long, leaving your soup kind of lumpy and gross.

Someone told me that people put crackers in their soup to cool it off, in case it's too warm. I can't really see that being the case though. Why wouldn't you just wait 5 minutes for your soup to cool off? Or blow air on your spoon (and soup) to cool off each bite if you can't wait? I'm genuinely perplexed by this.

In the same vein, I've always been confused by French Onion soup because there's a huge glob of cheese on top! And underneath the cheese is this salty, dark broth that has little bits on onion floating around that you occasionally get to taste. I mean, I like cheese, and I like onions, but how are you supposed to eat it? And is it supposed to taste good?

Maybe I've just had really bad French Onion soup in my time.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I've finally found the most amazing compromise. (Oddly enough, it was inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook.) So here's the thing: I like bread. I use bread to sop up the last bits of my soup. Sometimes I even put bread in my soup. I also like cheese. Cheese goes on almost every meal I make. So why not combine them to make a cheesy bread crust over the top of the soup? 

Brilliant idea, right? I know. I do this for everything now. And it is SO GOOD. 

3-4 slices of a baguette per bowl (or less, depending)
Shredded cheese of your choice
Soup in a bowl

Preheat broiler.

Slice baguette.

Add small amounts of shredded cheese on top of baguette. (Reserve some cheese for later.)

Place baguette slices onto a baking sheet and place in broiler.

Leave in broiler until cheese is slightly melted and starting to brown.

Remove from broiler and place immediately into soup bowl.

Take the leftover cheese and sprinkle on top, make sure to get the spots the bread doesn't cover.

And voila! The bread and cheese creates a seal and you have you delicious soup waiting underneath!

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