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Steamed Pierogi Soup

For the broth:

1 4 1/2-5-pound fresh young chicken, giblets removed
8 cups cold water
8 3-Inch pieces celery
1 small carrot, unpeeled, halved
1 small yellow onion, unpeeled, halved
3 medium-sized garlic cloves, halved
1 small bay leaf
About 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-lite olive oil
9 small yellow onions, peeled, halved, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pierogi:
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
32 wonton wrappers (Nasoya)

Place chicken, water, celery, carrot, small onion, garlic and bay leaf in large stockpot, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, then simmer for 2 hours.

Remove chicken, save for another use. Remove and discard vegetables and bay leaf. Strain broth through sieve lined with cheesecloth. Add salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

Heat butter and oil in medium-sized skillet over low heat. Add sliced onion and cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook over low heat for another 30 minutes. Add to broth.

For the pierogi: Place potato cubes in small pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Drain cooked potatoes, return to pot, mash and stir in grated cheese.

Fill each wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon filling, fold according to package instructions. Keep prepared pierogi under damp dishtowel to keep from drying out while you work.

Fill bottom of broiler pan with 6 cups hot water, place on top of two stove burners, bring to a boil. Lightly spray top of broiler pan with nonstick spray. Arrange pierogi on pan so they are not touching. Place over hot water, cover with foil, reduce heat to low and steam 25 minutes. (Alternately, you can use a Chinese steamer, which worked fine, too.) Add to broth.

Note: Do not boil; simmer only. It's best to add hot pierogies to broth and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings of 1 cup broth and 4 pierogies each.

Barbara Lento

Thursday, January 27, 2000

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