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"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin


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 WB01507_.gif (1247 bytes)  Soup

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"The first Mrs. Astor, the Mrs. Astor, was a true eccentric. . .  Mrs. Astor made herself famous in social circles and infamous in culinary circles by putting down that great masterpiece of the dining art - soup. Mrs. Astor didn't serve soup at her famous dinners. . .  she even said, 'Why would anyone want to put their dinner on top of a lake?' Well, all I can say about Mrs. Astor is, what did she know about
love, having married for money?  Soup is a mainstay of civilization. It is a creative synthesis of flavors and textures, served in a comforting, back-to-childhood style;
or as a precise and perfectly elegant beginning to the shape of things to come. . .  free-lancers of every stripe cannot live without it. By that I mean writers, artists, inventors and confined housewives. Lives have been saved by soup..."
~ Liz Smith, from the foreword to 'Lee Bailey's Soup Meals'


Steak and Mushroom Soup Dinner
Lee Bailey’s Soup Meals
Main Event Soups in Year-Round Menus

Copyright © 1989 by Lee Bailey (Clarkson N. Potter)

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“Now here is a menu for the meat and potatoes crowd – in a slightly glamorized version. It begins with a baked potato, but not just an ordinary baked potato,
rather one dressed with a generous dollop of caviar. And the soup has cubes
of marinated steak and plenty of fresh mushrooms in it, accompanied by old-
fashioned drop buttermilk biscuits.
For dessert is an equally old-fashioned pear pudding cake.”

Baked Potatoes with Caviar
Steak and Mushroom Soup
Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
Pear Pudding Cake



Baked Potatoes with Caviar

“I assume that almost everyone knows how to bake a potato, but I am amazed at how often people do the one or two things that diminish their delicious natural flavor and texture. Personally, I love the crunch and taste of the skin after it
has been baked, and it is here where most of the mistakes seem to be made.
First, the potato should be baked in a very hot oven, say 425 degrees [F]. But
before it goes in, it should be well washed and dried, then rubbed generously
with vegetable oil and sprinkled with salt. Don’t ever wrap the potato in foil.
This absolutely ruins the texture of the skin, which should by dry and crunchy.”

6 medium baking potatoes, washed and dried
Safflower oil
Unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped green onions or chives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees [F]. Generously rub the potatoes with safflower oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for approximately 40 minutes
to 1 hour, depending on size.
Split each potato down the center and press open. Spread with a generous amount of butter, sprinkle with fresh pepper, and top with caviar. Sprinkle
a few chopped green onions or chives over the top.
Serves 6


Steak and Mushroom Soup

“I think marinating the steak improves its flavor; however,
if you are rushed you might try it without this step.”

1 1/4 pounds thick shell steak, trimmed and
cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium onions, half coarsely chopped,
other half thinly sliced
2 small carrots, scraped and finely chopped
2 small ribs celery, finely chopped
1 pound fresh button mushrooms, thickly sliced
Flour for dusting
5 to 6 cups beef stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Generous 1/4 teaspoon freshly
ground black pepper
1 large bay leaf
1 1/4 pounds escarole, washed and torn
into bite-size pieces, with stems broken

2/3 cup safflower oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl and add cubed
steak, being sure all is submerged. Set aside for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil and butter in a large stockpot. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Cook over medium to high heat until nicely golden, but not burned, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until they are just wilted, several more minutes.
Remove and set aside. Wipe out any lingering bits of vegetable and add
the remaining oil and butter.
Pat the steak cubes dry and flour them, shaking off excess. Brown in oil
and butter over medium heat, being careful not to allow the flour to burn. Remove and set aside. Return cooked vegetables and mushrooms to the
pot along with the sliced onions. Add 5 cups beef stock. Bring to a simmer and add salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 minutes, skimming if necessary.
Add steak and simmer for another 10 minutes before adding escarole.
You  may add more stock here if you think the soup is too thick. Simmer
just long enough for escarole to become tender. Do not overcook.
Correct seasoning if necessary.
Serves 6 to 8

Steak and Mushroom Soup Dinner continues...

Featured Archive Recipes:
Lee's Black Bean and Macaroni Soup
Lee's Angel Biscuits
Lee's Jalapeño Corn Muffins
Lee's Rice Muffins
Lee's Endive Salads
Lee's Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
Lee's Spice Applesauce Cake

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