Reuben Soup

reuben soup | sunsets on the side

reuben soup | sunsets on the side

I try never to complain about the weather.

I’m not always successful at this, especially during September’s hotter-than-the-inside-of-an-oven temperatures, but to me, those hot, humid (sometimes seemingly endless) days are so worth it for the cool, dry winters and the year-round flowers.

We’re sitting right between two cold snaps right now.  Relatively speaking, compared to what the rest of the country is going through, but our forecast calls for temperatures going down into the 20s & 30s for the next two nights.  Truth be told, I love it when it gets cold here in January.  Really cold days are so infrequent that I get pretty excited to take advantage of wearing fleece jackets, breaking out an extra blanket, and lighting a candle or two.

Time to crank up the stove for some soup!

reuben soup ingredients | sunsets on the side

Ever since I saw Food and Wine‘s version of a Reuben Chowder in their October issue, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  A Reuben deconstructed and turned into soup?  Sign me up.

I wanted to make some changes, though, to create a flavor that’s a little more traditional and true to the sandwich.  I added some Swiss cheese and swapped in the corned beef for the meats that were originally used.  This is comfort food all the way, and it’s just perfect for the cold weather that’s happening everywhere right now…even here in the sunshine state.

Looks like we’re all (sort of) in this together for the next couple days!

Reuben Soup
 
Author:
Makes: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 cups cubed pumpernickel bread
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 ¼ lb corned beef, cut into ½” chunks
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • ½ tsp. freshly-ground back pepper
  • ⅓ cup crème fraiche
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 4 oz. swiss cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes, stir to coat with the olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until cubes are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a soup pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the corned beef, and cook until heated through, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour into the pot, stir until it’s totally dissolved, and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the chicken stock, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the sauerkraut and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the crème fraiche and scallions.
  6. Serve hot, topping each bowl with some grated swiss cheese and pumpernickel croutons.

Adapted from Food & Wine.

Swiss, Bacon & Almond Dip

swiss bacon and almond dip

swiss bacon and almond dip

A girl really can’t have too many dip recipes, am I right?

I’m forever needing new variations on appetizers, especially during football season and throughout the holidays.  And, hot dips are perfect to take when we trade houses with a couple of our good friends for game viewing occasions during the fall and winter.  Just pop it out of the oven, throw on some foil, and hit the road.

This particular dip feels a bit “Oktoberfest” to me.  With the mustard and the Swiss, it feels like something you’d want to slather on a brat.

Actually…

You could crush up some of the pretzel chips you’re using for dipping, stir them in, and then slap it on a brat.  Hmmm…

No, I didn’t.  I stuck with the dip.  But, that really does sound good…

Swiss, Bacon & Almond Dip
 
Author:
Makes: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 8 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • ¼ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Spread sliced almonds out into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 4 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until pieces are browned and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and black pepper until well combined. Stir in the scallions, swiss, and cooked bacon. Gently fold in the toasted almonds, leaving a handful for garnish at the end.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is brown and the dip is bubbling. Garnish with remaining almonds.
  6. Serve with pretzel chips or crackers.

Adapted from Rachael Ray.