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Saxe-Coburg Soup
ingredients:
4 Tablespoons butter
1 pound tiny brussel sprouts, trimmed, chopped, and blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
2 ounces smoked ham, chopped fine
4 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 cups milk, brought to a boil then allowed to cool slightly
8 cups stock (veal-based white stock is traditional, but chicken stock or vegetable stock is fine too)
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: "sippets"--toast cut into tiny cubes
method:

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over low heat, scrape in the blanched and chopped brussel sprouts, the onion, and the ham, cover the pot, and sweat for about 10 minutes. They should not take on any color, but just soften. Stir in the flour and sugar, letting them soften. Then gradually stir in the hot milk and the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes, when the vegetables are tender.

Traditionally you would pureé the soup at this point, solids first. If you do so, serve it as a first course to an elegant meal in a classic 2-handled or no handled "cream cup' with saucer, serving with side dishes of sippets for dinners to garnish their bowls before eating. Alternatively, you can forego the pureé step and serve in soup plates, also passing the side dishes of sippets separately.

observations:
Either way, it's a lovely and delicate soup.
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