I don't really share recipes on this blog. It just isn't what I do. But, today is different. Just like the last time I posted a recipe. But this time, I blame a providence of Michaels. I read Michael Ruhlman's post on french onion soup, and Michael Nagrant tweeted about reuben soup.
The trick with doing a dish like this is honoring the souls of these iconic dishes without being constricted by them. So...
How can anyone forget the first time they had french onion soup? Molten cheese bubbling on top of crouton floating over a rich, deep caramelized onion broth. The flavors muted only by the burning sensation in your mouth, not realizing that this soup was just sitting underneath a jet-engine-hot broiler.
How about a reuben?
The reuben is an iconic sandwich of the jewish deli (*). Corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and russian dressing layered between two slices of caraway studded rye bread. Then the whole sandwich gets the grilled cheese treatment. Crisped golden brown in a pan with some butter. Anything else is bullshit.(*) Weird because it certainly isn't kosher, what with the beef and cheese.
French Reuben Soup (Serves 6-ish)
I love this dish because it gives you a lot of places to sneak in the familiar flavors of both of these dishes. I do it a little differently every time I make it, sneaking a little caraway seed or powder somewhere new. Architecturally speaking, we are going to make a soup base by combining caramelized onions and shallot mixture with a corned beef broth. Then we are going to float an open faced reuben on top of the soup and melt the cheese in the broiler.
Corned Beef Broth
4 ounces of Corned Beef (chopped)
288 grams of Mirepoix
8 cups water
2 tsp caraway
1 tbs olive oil
1. Toast caraway seed in a dry pan
2. Remove caraway seeds and add olive oil
3. When the oil is hot, add the caraway seeds
4. After about thirty seconds add the mirepoix.
6. After the mirepoix starts to caramelize, add the corned beef.
7. Add the water and simmer until it's done.
8. Strain and reserve.
4 Shallots, sliced
1/3 cup Sauerkraut
1 tbs caraway seeds
1 tbs butter
1. Heat oil and butter on low
2. Add the caraway seeds
3. Slowly cook the shallot until they start to brown
4. Add the sauerkraut
5. Cook until it's awesome. Be very careful with the kraut as it tends to burn.
Reuben Crouton (*)
1 tbs butter
Slices of rye bread
(*) I don't really abide by my measurements for this part.
0. Heat a skillet over a medium flame
1. Cut the rye bread into rounds appropriate for your bowls
2. Melt the butter, crisp the bread
3. Remove the bread from the skillet
Corned beef broth
Caramelized shallot/sauerkraut mixture
Emmentalier cheese, shredded
|Mise: Grated Emmentalier, russian, corned beef, corned beef broth, discs of rye|
and a caramelized mixture of kraut and shallot
0. Line up bowls on a sheet pan, these are going under the broiler, so position as appropriate.
2. Ladle the soup base into individual bowls
|Corned beef broth with caramelized kraut/shallots|
3. Evenly apply russian dressing on top of the rye crouton.
4. Place a single layer of corned beef over the crouton and cut the corned beef to fit.
|Russian Dressing and Corned Beef Applied|
5. Float the crouton on top of the soup base.
6. Add the sauerkraut.
7. Pile on some cheese.
8. Broil until cheese is melty, oozy and napalmy.
9. Blow some minds.