Granted, soup is not what everyone is making at this time of year when the sun is shining. Personally, at home we’re big on bbq and fresh salads and fruit right now. But when I think of my book, FAR FROM BROKEN, I think of cold, snow, and comfort food, so here goes:
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French Onion Soup
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large onions sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups beef broth
3 tbsp brandy
6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
1/2-lb Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental Cheese (or hey, why not a little of them all?)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cook onions in oil and butter on medium heat until soft and starting to brown. Add thyme, bay leaves, chili and salt over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are well browned, about 25 minutes. Add flour to coat onions. Stir in wine and stock, bring to the boil. Skim off foam from the top and lower heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. (This is what my mother’s recipe says, but I find it doesn’t usually take that long. Maybe 25-30 mins—Then again, I could be doing it wrong.)
While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and preheat broiler. Put French onion soup dishes in a shallow baking pan.
Ladle soup into bowls, then float a crust of bread in each. Grate enough Gruyère/ Comte/ Emmental to cover tops of soup and bread, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of the bowls, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.
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FAR FROM BROKEN
Soldier. Spymaster. Husband.
Colonel Jasper Carlisle was defined by his work until he met his wife. When the prima ballerina swept into his life with her affection, bright laughter and graceful movements, he knew that she was the reason for his existence, and that their love would be forever.
But their world is shattered when Callie is kidnapped and brutally tortured by the foes Jasper has been hunting. Mechanical parts have replaced her legs, her hand, her eye...and possibly her heart. Though she survived, her anger at Jasper consumes her, while Jasper's guilt drives him from the woman he loves. He longs for the chance to show her their love can withstand anything...including her new clockwork parts.
As the holiday season approaches, Jasper realizes he must fight not just for his wife's love and forgiveness...but also her life, as his enemy once again attempts to tear them apart.
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(Also writing Dark Fantasy for young adults as Chloe Jacobs www.chloejacobs.com)