This first recipe is for Hilary. I got it off the Martha Stewart website.
Seared Beef and Noodle Soup
1/2 lb rice noodles (You can also substitute angel hair pasta.)
1 1/4 lbs beef sirloin (about 1 inch thick)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. beef stock
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded (I used regular cabbage.)
2 scallions, including green parts, thinly sliced
1 c. bean sprouts (I left these out and put in peas instead.)
1. Place rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over noodles. Let sit until translucent but still slightly chewy, 5-10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season beef with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and rub with 1 Tbsp oil. Sear beef in pan until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Sear other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove beef.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining Tbsp of oil, mushrooms, and garlic; cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mushrooms are tender, 3-5 minutes.
4. Add stock, soy sauce, vinegar, and 2 c. water to the pan (I thought the water made the soup weak, so used more stock instead.); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; stir in carrots cabbage, scallions, and bean sprouts. (I like my veggies less crunchy, so I simmered them until I thought they were done.)
5. Cut beef diagonally into very thin slices. Ladle the broth and veggies into serving bowls, and place the noodles and sliced beef on top.
This next soup is for Tammy. It's a recipe Aaron got in Germany on his mission.
Allgauer Kase Soupe
Allgauer Kase Soupe
2 Tbsp butter
2 pieces of bread, cut into cubes
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
4 c. chicken stock, hot
125 g. (or so) soft, spreadable cheese
(We like Boursin, but Alluette is nice too. It should have garlic and herbs in it. This is the flavoring of this soup, so get something nice. You can find this kind of cheese in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores.)
salt and pepper to taste
dash or two nutmeg
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1. Make the croutons. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the cubes, toss and saute until golden brown. Set aside. (When I make this, I cut up a piece of bread for each person who will be eating-8 for our family-then I melt the butter (4-6 Tbsp. for my family) in the microwave and toss with the bread. Then I spread the bread on a cookie sheet and broil it in the oven until it is golden brown. Toss the croutons and brown on the other side.)
2. Make the soup. Melt the butter in the soup pot. Add the flour and stir and cook for a little bit. You want to make sure it doesn't taste like flour. Whisk in the hot broth until there are no lumps. Cook at a simmer for 7 minutes.
3. Cut the cheese into chunks. Stir the cheese into the soup until it melts. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley. Bring to a simmer.
4. Serve with the croutons on top. Or if you're a purist, with them on the side, you don't want your food to touch.
Serves 4 (I double this for my family and there's usually just one serving left over, which Aaron and I fight about for lunch the next day.)