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MICROWAVE

Quick Cold Weather Soup

November 01, 1990|JEAN ANDERSON and ELAINE HANNA | Anderson and Hanna are nutritionists and cookbook authors specializing in microwave cookery

When temperatures begin to fall and winds begin to rise, nothing can warm body and soul faster than a steaming bowl of homemade soup.

But who wants to stand over a steamy kettle all day? The good news for microwave owners is that you don't have to. In fact, you can brew up the following soup in less than 30 minutes.

Better still, you won't have to worry about these microwave soups boiling over, boiling dry or scorching. They are virtually fail-safe if you follow directions to the letter.

But one word of caution. Don't try to brown the onions for the French onion soup in the microwave. They will turn bitter and rubbery. To overcome the problem, simply mix a little sugar and gravy browner into the onions.

FRENCH ONION SOUP

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 teaspoon liquid gravy browner

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 pound Spanish or yellow onions, very thinly sliced

1 quart beef broth

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Salt

French bread

Place butter in wax-paper-covered, microwave-safe 2 1/2-quart casserole. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 35 to 45 seconds. Mix in liquid gravy browner and sugar. Add onions and toss with butter mixture. Cover with wax paper and microwave on HIGH 9 to 10 minutes, or until onions are almost tender.

Add broth and pepper. Cover with casserole lid and microwave on HIGH 9 to 10 minutes, until mixture boils, stirring at half time.

Stir again and develop flavors by microwaving on MEDIUM (50% power) 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with French bread. Makes 4 servings.

Variation:

French Onion Soup au Gratin:

Prepare soup as directed. While it simmers, toast 4 (3/8-inch) slices French bread. Ladle soup into 4 individual flameproof casseroles. Float toast slice on each and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Set casseroles in preheated broiler, 4 inches from heat, and broil about 1 minute until cheese melts and is tipped with brown.

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