Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cheese and Beer Soup with Garlic Croutons and Kielbasa Sausage

In my quest to master all kind of soups, I bring you another winner.

This recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and it turned out fantastically!

Cheese and Beer Soup with Garlic Croutons and Kielbasa Sausage

8 pieces kielbasa sausage (get from a butcher or locker if you can to get the nicest quality…actually, do that with all meat you cook with if possible instead of the mass produced grocery store stuff)

3 T. olive oil

1 1/2 C. chopped yellow onions

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

3 T. minced garlic

6 T. flour

6 C. chicken stock

2 C. lager beer (I used non-alcoholic and it tasted just fine)

4 sprigs thyme

2 C. cubed Gruyere cheese (save some grated Gruyere for garnish if you wish)

2 T. minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish

8 hot dog buns

Garlic Croutons (see recipe)

Saute the kielbasa until golden brown on all sides in a large, hot soup pot, about 4 minutes per side. The sausage will not be cooked through, it will finish cooking in the soup. Remove from the pan and set aside. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly carmelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring constantly, for 1 hour. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the kielbasa and cook until the sausages are cooked through. Remove the sausages from the soup. Add the cheese 1/3 cup at a time, stirring until nearly all melted and smooth after each addition. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve kielbasa with hot dog buns and serve soup hot, garnished with garlic croutons, parsley and finely grated cheese (optional).

Garlic Croutons

8 T. butter

2 T. minced garlic

2 C. diced day-old French bread (crusts removed), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the bread cubes and salt and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until the croutons are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. (If you do not have an ovenproof skillet, I mixed everything than placed it on a foil-lined cookie sheet, the results were just fine).

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