In the time that I have been a food blogger, I have learned that some recipes just aren't meant to be adapted. Some recipes are just perfect the way they are. Or in this case, sometimes the amount of the ingredients are perfect just the way they are. Let me explain:
I'm pretty sure I've talked about the fact that Chris is very sensitive to textures. So, when I saw this recipe that Chris at Nibble Me posted (and what a genius idea by the way), I was a bit hesitant to make it. Why, you ask? Because the thickening ingredient in this soup is bread. Yep, as strange as it might sound to some of you, it's true. I convinced myself that I could keep Chris from finding out and he'd eat the soup and love it. While at the store that day, I needed to pick up extra bread just for this soup, so while standing next to the bread in the bakery department, I blurt out .. "well, I need one loaf to use in the soup". I immediately realized what I had said and wished more than anything to be able to take it back. Chris gives me a puzzled look and says.. "bread IN the soup?" The puzzled look turns to disgust and now I know I'm in trouble. By the time we got home, I had once again convinced myself I was still going to make this soup, I would just use less bread, that way it wouldn't be so obvious and Chris would hopefully eat it. Well, I'm hear to say, even slimming the amount of bread down by a cup changed the whole entire thing. Oh sure, the flavors were still there, but the consistency was not and that is what I was looking for - something a little thicker, heartier... something with substance!
In the end, the flavor was so kick-ass that Chris agreed to let me try and make the soup as it should have been made....... neither of us were disappointed this time!
Hot Wing Soup
Slightly adapted from Chris at Nibble Me This
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups Italian bread cubes, no crust
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/2 Tablespoon paprika
4 cups chicken broth
12 oz beer (Chris used dark beer, I used a light beer)
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank's - but be careful, this adds a lot of heat to the soup)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (because I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese)
**Garnish: chicken wing meat, celery leaves, goat cheese or blue cheese crumbles
Preheat a heavy bottom stock pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of butter. Once butter is bubbling hot, add the bread cubes and quickly toss to coat evenly. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the now empty pot. Saute the celery and carrot until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth, beer, paprika, hot sauce, goat cheese and the croutons you just made. Bring to a simmer and cook until the bread begins to bread apart - about 5-6 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend to a smooth consistency. Bring soup back to a simmer for 3 more minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Garnish with chicken wing meat, more goat cheese, and celery leaves if desired. Enjoy!
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