A restorative soup supper is just the ticket every now and then. A soothing alchemy develops in the soup pot. My preference is old-fashioned beef and vegetable soup, a thick and hearty combination that softens stress. It’s also a do-ahead one-dish meal.
After experimenting with various cuts of beef to give the necessary body and soul to this soup, short ribs were my choice over beef stew meat and beef shanks. The short-rib stock and the meat are more flavorful than the other options. It’s no problem that there is more fat, as it’s skimmed off in the end. The vegetables can be varied according to taste; I especially like this mix.
Hot slices of toasted sourdough bread with sizzling Parmesan cheese and a hearty Burgundy wine lift it all to perfection. Serve the chilled fudgy brownies with walnuts and fresh fruit for dessert: no more blahs!
Toast nuts in dry skillet set over medium heat until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Microwave chocolate until melted, about 1 minute. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until very well mixed. Add 1 egg and mix until almost incorporated. Add remaining egg and mix until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix 30 seconds.
Mix in flour and salt on low speed until almost combined, with some flour still visible. Using spatula, fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch pan. Smooth top.
Bake at 350 degrees until center stops rising and toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 27 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 12 squares, or refrigerate overnight, covered airtight up to 3 days. (Can be frozen up to 2 weeks.)
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