Bookbinder Soup

One of the things I was told we had to try while in Chicago was the Bookbinder Soup at The Drake Hotel. They have been serving it since they opened in 1933, with a shot of sherry. I found this recipe at recipezaar.com. The Drake also had a recipe online, but it told you to add things not in the ingredient list, so I didn't trust it. This recipe still tasted like the real thing.

The Drake's Bookbinder Soup
Recipe from Recipezaar.com


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
12 white peppercorns or black peppercorns, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
8 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 small onions, chopped fine
3 celery ribs, chopped fine
1-2 red snapper fillets (10 oz.) (We used Westcoast Snapper from Whole Foods Market)
1/4 cup sherry wine (optional)

1. To make soup base, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add carrots, celery, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in peppercorns, bay leaf, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro; cook 2 minutes and add 7 cups of the vegetable broth; heat to boil.

3. Melt butter in a small saucepan; add flour and cornstarch, cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Slowly whisk in remaining 1 cup broth until mixture is smooth; add mixture to soup base; cover and simmer over medium-low heat 20 minutes.

5. Taste and adjust seasonings.

6. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth; discard solids and return broth to pot.

7. To make snapper, heat water to boil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat; add onions and celery; blanch until soft, about 3 minutes.

8. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to broth.

9. Boil fish in the same water until cooked through.

10. Remove fish from water; flake very finely with a fork.

11. Stir snapper and sherry, if desired, into soup base; heat through.

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