Recipes: Soup is good for the soul

Stay warm from the inside out these with hearty soups submitted by local chefs and restaurants:

CREAMY BROCCOLI & CHEESE SOUP

8 tablespoons butter (salted or un)

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups whole milk

4-5 cups Hangouts chicken stock or other brand

2 pounds fresh broccoli

4-5 cups of mixed cheese (cheese of choice)

First make a rue: melt 8 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted) on medium heat. Add one cup flour and whisk. Add two cups whole milk and whisk. Once the rue has thickened up, add remaining milk and stir. Add chicken stock and reduce heat to simmer. Sauté broccoli in large frying pan with a little butter until slightly tender. Then chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Then add to soup mixture. Continue to simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Right before eating add cheese and stir until thoroughly mixed and melted. Serve with a little cheese on top.

(Recipe submitted by Hangouts Grill, 35 Brandy Court, Strasburg)

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COCONUT THAI CHICKEN

1 quart chicken stock (best if home-made)

2 cans coconut milk

3 cups shredded chicken meat (white and dark)

1 – 2 tablespoon honey

8 oz fresh mushrooms (sliced or chopped, shitakes, white button, or other)

2 cups fresh spinach or kale

½ cup snow peas

2 teaspoons fish sauce (recommended but you can omit)

1 – 2 whole hot chilies (Thai chilies if possible)

½ cup loose packed fresh cilantro, rough chopped

1 stem lemon grass

½ cup lime juice

Aromatics

¼ cup chopped fresh ginger

½ cup chopped onion

4 cloves fresh garlic peeled and chopped

1 medium red bell pepper cored and chopped

Spices (Can substitute a mild curry powder or use this list)

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground paprika

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bell pepper until the onion is translucent and everything is “just” done. Add everything except the cilantro, kale/spinach and lime juice to a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, adding the kale or spinach about half way through. The chili peppers may be taken out at any time when the desired “hot” is reached. Add lime juice (adjust to taste). Salt to taste (may use soy sauce for a little umami). Serve and garnish with cilantro and fresh lime. Notes: The better the chicken stock the better the soup. Use a good quality or make it yourself. Don’t be afraid of the fish sauce; it smells strong but disappears into the soup and gives it a wonderful rich flavor.

(Recipe submitted by Blue Wing Frog, 219 Chester St., Front Royal)

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AVGOLEMONMO SOUP

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked rice (not minute rice) or orzo

Salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs, well beaten

Juice from 3 large lemons

Parsley, lemon slices for garnish

Optional add-ins: Chopped, cooked chicken or fresh spinach

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add rice or orzo. Simmer until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Season stock to taste with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice to beaten, thickened eggs. Gradually transfer two cups hot broth to the egg/lemon mixture, adding it in a slow constant stream and beating vigorously to prevent eggs from solidifying. Remove soup from heat and add the beaten mixture back to the pot, whisking to blend. Heat over medium low until thickened. Add cooked chicken and fresh spinach, if desired. Serve immediately. Garnish with very thin slices of lemon and parsley.

(Recipe submitted by Mary Rapoport, Virginia Egg Council, 3401 W. Ridge Road SW in Roanoke)

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