Cream of Reuben Soup
5 cups chicken stock or 3, 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth 12 ounces fully cooked corned beef brisket, chopped, or 2-1/2 cups chopped deli franks 1 8 - ounce can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 -2 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 bay leaf 1/3 cup cold water 3 tablespoons cornstarch 2 large carrots, coarsely shredded 12 ounces process Swiss cheese slices, cut up 1 cup shredded natural Swiss cheese (4 ounces) 1 cup whipping cream, half-and-half or light cream Rye Bread Croutons In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, combine chicken stock, beef brisket or franks, sauerkraut, onion, garlic, thyme, tarragon, white pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. In a small bowl, stir together the cold water and cornstarch. Stir cornstarch mixture and carrots into soup. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Reduce heat to low. Add the Swiss cheeses; cook and stir until melted. Stir in whipping cream; heat through. Top each serving with some of the Rye Bread Croutons. Makes 8 main-dish servings. Rye Bread Croutons: Cut 4 slices rye bread into about 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange pieces in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until bread pieces are dry and crisp, stirring once. Cool completely.