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The Soup Topic (2005–2006)


maggiethecat
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Do get fresh mushrooms that have not developed dark gills. I did that once with mushrooms that were on sale because they had started to open their caps and develop the spores. It tasted fine but had an ugly brownish purple color. Stay away from Portobellos for the same reason.

Portobellos are quite easy to peel. Scoop the dark gills with a grapefruit spoon.

edit:

Oh, and re soups.

Miso shiru.

Lobster bisque.

Leek and potato potage.

Pho.

Congee.

Roasted corn chowder with poblanos and smoked chicken and chipotle creme fraiche.

Pea soup with prosciutto shank.

And yes, yes, yes: mushroom soup of any kind.

Edited by Jinmyo (log)

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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What a wonderful project, Maggie. I hope you will report in on each week's soup. And, lucky you, your friends here on the eG Forums will no doubt nag you if you fail to complete any given week's assignment.

Let me cast my vote, during the cold months, for lentil soup. No need for fancy lentils with French names; the Goya lentils from the supermarket are entirely sufficient (and, to me, sometimes preferable) for delicious soup. Working from a base of lentils and basic aromatics (a little onion, garlic, carrots, maybe celery), you can take the soup in many directions, depending on what you have at hand. My favorite is to make lentil soup from the leftovers of a braised meat dish, like brisket, short ribs or pot roast. Save a small percentage of the meat, especially the bits that don't make for neat serving slices. Strain the cooking liquid from the braising project (or half or a quarter of it, if you're making a sauce from the rest) and refrigerate overnight. Defat it and use it as the liquid base for cooking the lentils (along with the aforementioned aromatics). You may need to supplement with some water or some stock from inventory. Depending on how "loose" you like your soup, you can either leave the lentils in a mostly liquid broth or you can remove about half the lentils, puree them in a blender and use them as a thickener. Season with salt and pepper, and maybe some paprika. Towards the end of cooking, mix the leftover bits of meat in with the soup, add fresh herbs and maybe a little acid (like a very small amount of Sherry vinegar).

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My sisters and brothers in soup: Happy New Year! Big old pot, check. Mouli, check. Immersion blender, check. A request to all my friends and relatives to donate their hambones, check. 2005 will be my Seasons of Soup, and I'm so tickled to find so many buddies to stir along with. Though, duh! this is eGullet. The eGullet Society of Soup.

Abra: I love the idea of a virtual soup kitchen, and I also like your idea of choosing a soup-of-the-week, and all of us reporting our theme and variations. I'm going to choose the soup o' the week, post my method and ingredients, and hope to hear about your tips and the results of your versions. Damn, I'll have to find out what's wrong with my camera and get it fixed.

It looks as if there will be no death of receipes or suggestions--if I count upthread we've probably got half a year of recipes right there. But Steven's mighty powers must extend to mindreading. I peered into the pantry this morning and found two bags of Jack Rabbit lentils, practically crying out to be transmogrified into potage. So this week, it will be lentil soup. (By the way, the recipe on the back of the bag, tarted up, is a family standard.)

Steven, your recipe sounds spot-on, but in our household the chances of having leftover brisket or short ribs are slim to none. I think I'm going to go with a leaner version, unhappily sans brisket or even the golden hambone. I do have some bacon, which I'll sub to achieve the lovely smoked pork undercurrent that I love with legumes. Hmmm, maybe I have some leftover gravy in the freezer from the Christmas standing rib. And I love your idea of the acid finish - I usually do a rich finish, like sour cream. Maybe I'll do both.

I'm thinking that January will shape up something like this: Lentil, squash, mushroom, leek and potato. I'm excited that so many of you are interested in coming along for the ride.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I've been making fish soup at least once a week lately. I start with a fish stock (my grocery store carries a good frozen one) and add sauteed onions, Swiss chard, diced potatoes, a handful of diced, stewed tomatoes and a touch of Tabasco. I throw in some diced white fish, a handful of mussels and a couple of sliced scallops. Last week I also tossed in a gre itty bitty baby squid...for effect!

I serve it with a classic rouille, which keeps well in the fridge for another use a couple of days later.

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We can't forget the king of all soups: Beer and Cheese Soup. Toss in some good smokey sausage, a couple big pinches of crushed red pepper, some hearty herbs, nice strong beer, and get ready to go to town.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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What a super idea, MaggietheCat! You're an inspiration...

I'll toss in my Curried Cauliflower and Cheese soup recipe. I'm currently pursuing inner (and outer!) thinness so feel free to substitute whatever grade of milk is your preference.

Curried Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

1 large head of cauliflower

2-3 cups salt-free, de-fatted chicken broth

1 cup fat-free milk

1 S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix cube *

2 oz. grated cheddar cheese (real cheese, fat-free cheese is not allowed in my house!)

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and put them in a pot along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Cook until the cauliflower is very soft.

2. Using a potato masher, mash the cauliflower and broth together to make a thick but chunky mixture.

3. Add milk. (Note: don’t let the soup boil after this point so keep the heat on low.)

4. Add curry spice mix cube. (* If you have some other curry seasoning, that can be substituted. I’ve also used Lee Kum Kee’s curry paste and also the dry spices themselves. If you use the dry spices (turmeric, coriander, cumin, cayenne, garam masala, etc., etc.,), add them to 1/2 a tablespoon or so of oil, cook them for a little bit, and then stir the mixture into the soup.) My favourite way to make this is using the Lee Kum Kee paste.

5. Add cheese and nutritional yeast, if using. Stir until cheese is melted.

Why nutritional yeast? It adds a richness to the soup that would normally come from using gobs and gobs of cheese. So, you get the rich flavour of lots of cheese but without the fat.

I also added some roasted cauliflower to this batch of soup. It added a different texture and also some depth of flavour. Very yummy.

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OK, part of today's Jan. 1 kitchen activities, towards what I would like to do the rest of the New Year, was prepping the few ingredients for my favorite type of split pea soup, an austere, pureed, all-veg version from the 1981 Los Angeles Times California Cookbook supposedly based on the famous-pea-soup-restaurant Andersen's recipe.

(To supply this particular recipe was a Love Gift to Californians who might've stopped at Andersen's Pea Soup -- or Pea Soup Andersen's, depending on which Californian you're talkin' to -- for convenience or respect for corny tradition, and found themselves wowed by the deliciousness of the eponymous soup.)

You've just done split pea, I know, MtheC -- which of course inspired mine of today. Nice little plop of sour cream on there, upon serving.

Lentil soup is another essential, and I agree that there should be some note of pork in there. Sometimes just a little bacon, sometimes chock full o' smoked sausage, sometimes the dregs of the old ham. I also always want a tomato element with lentils, whether chopped up fresh or a can of canned or a mere T. of paste, depending on the soup and the pantry and the season.

Yay soup!

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Here is my bean soup recipe that I usually do with the leftover ham end.

Linda’s REALLY GOOD Bean Soup

(Or… What am I gonna do with that spiral sliced ham thing?)

OK, you have peeled off all of that yummy sliced ham and you now have a big ham bone with all of that ham stuff still lumped on one end. Well, stay tuned and cook up a pot of bean soup that will make you “hurt yo’self!”

2 16 oz. Bags of 15 (or whatever) bean mix. (I like the cajun style I get at Randall’s.)

1 bag garbanzos

Wash the beans and soak the beans in cold water for a few hours or overnight.

Get a REALLY BIG pot and put in the following:

4 Tablespoons bacon drippings (Oh good grief… it won’t kill you and it tastes good.)

4 big onions chopped about ½”

5 big ribs of celery chopped about ½”

2 large heads of garlic coarsely chopped (Yes, the whole heads. Not 2 cloves.)

Sauté until the veggies are translucent.

Put the ham thing in the pot.

Drain the water off the beans and put them in the pot.

Pour in 6 bottles of a good dark beer. (OK, pour in 5 and drink one.) I like Samuel Adams Honey Porter but use whatever you like. Look for a balance of sweet and bitter. You can consume a lot in the name of research.

Add water as needed to cover the beans.

Cover and simmer for several hours, adding water as needed. The thing is done when the meat falls off the ham bone in shreds and the beans are tender but not mushy. Yeah… take the bones out and throw them away. Or give them to the dog. Merry Christmas, Dog! Salt and pepper to taste.

That is the basic recipe, quite good as is. But you can add things to it as you wish. I freeze it and add stuff to my taste when I reheat it. Some suggestions:

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped fresh jalepeno peppers

Chopped pickled jalepenos

Picante sauce

Fresh herbs, parsley, cilantro, basil, etc.

Chopped fresh red bell pepper

Grated cheese on top

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Soup, glorious soup....I absolutely adore soup and try to make a pot a week. The best part is having the leftovers. :laugh: It's so great to open your freezer and see all the variety when you're too lazy to cook.

As you work with mushrooms, save all the stems. You can then put them into a stock pot with water and a couple of thyme sprigs to make mushroom stock. It's the essence of mushrooms and makes a really great addition to any mushroom soup.

Here's the recipe for my favorite mushroom-barley soup. It's very hearty. You can make it using just button mushrooms. I like using a mix of 10 ounces white buttons, 10 ounces creminis, 4 ounces shiitakes, and 4 ounces of whatever else looks interesting from the "mushroom lady."

2 tbls olive oil

1 onion, small dice

2 ribs of celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

30 ounces assorted mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tbls flour

2 quarts water

8 ounces mushroom broth (or 2 tablespoons dried porcinis soaked in 8 ounces of boiling water)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup barley

2 tsp olive oil

If using dried porcinis, soak in boiling water. Strain through filter, reserving soaking liquid and chop porcinis.

In large pot, heat oil. Add onion, celery and carrot and sweat until soft. Add mushrooms and continue sauteeing until mushrooms have given up their liquid. Add flour and stir contantly until the mixture becomes very thick and almost glue-y.

Add water and mushroom broth (or porcini soaking liquid and chopped porcinis).

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, in a small pot heat the additional 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the barley and toast until it's fragrant -- 2 or 3 minutes. (This helps prevent the barley from swelling too much in the soup and absorbing too much liquid). Add the barley to the soup and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.

(Because the barley absorbs liquid, I season with salt and pepper at every step -- while the vegetables are sweating, after I add the mushrooms, after the water/broth is added, etc. You might still need to season at the end.)

Eat!

This soup freezes well. But when re-heating, you will want to add additional water to the pot otherwise it will be too thick.

--------------------------------------------------------

In terms of chilled summer soups, I posted this recipe for Chilled Yellow Tomato Soup back in September. It's great when tomatoes are at their peak.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Let me cast my vote, during the cold months, for lentil soup. No need for fancy lentils with French names; the Goya lentils from the supermarket are entirely sufficient (and, to me, sometimes preferable) for delicious soup. Working from a base of lentils and basic aromatics (a little onion, garlic, carrots, maybe celery), you can take the soup in many directions, depending on what you have at hand. My favorite is to make lentil soup from the leftovers of a braised meat dish, like brisket, short ribs or pot roast. Save a small percentage of the meat, especially the bits that don't make for neat serving slices. Strain the cooking liquid from the braising project (or half or a quarter of it, if you're making a sauce from the rest) and refrigerate overnight. Defat it and use it as the liquid base for cooking the lentils (along with the aforementioned aromatics). You may need to supplement with some water or some stock from inventory. Depending on how "loose" you like your soup, you can either leave the lentils in a mostly liquid broth or you can remove about half the lentils, puree them in a blender and use them as a thickener. Season with salt and pepper, and maybe some paprika. Towards the end of cooking, mix the leftover bits of meat in with the soup, add fresh herbs and maybe a little acid (like a very small amount of Sherry vinegar).

Lentil soup is another great winter soup. If you want get somewhat Indian inspired, add some minced ginger to your mirepoix and saute. Once the vegetables are soft add a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of corriander. Instead of short ribs or pot roast some lamb stew would be a nice addition.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Absolutely. Lamb and lentils have an amazing affinity. In some parts of the country, a good selection of lamb is hard to come by, but in others you can get braising cuts cheap.

I'm of the school -- a minority school, I gather -- that believes the bacon/ham/smoke flavor is not necessarily the way to go with lentils. To me that flavor works better with split peas, whereas the flavors of beef and lamb (and also veal and dark meat poultry) work most beautifully with lentils. This is especially the case if you can build up from a base of beef/veal stock or a braising liquid from beef or lamb.

Then again I wouldn't say no to lentils with bacon.

A couple of points about soup and interest:

1) Making a soup a week shouldn't necessarily mean you have to eat that one soup all week. With clearly labeled containers in the freezer, you can start to accumulate a rotation, so that in a couple of months you always have your choice of 6 or 7 different soups on any given night.

2) It's very easy to make variations on soups just before service. So, for example, you can make a relatively plain bean soup and then, when it's time to serve it one night, you can add some sauteed slices of sausage, whereas on another night you can throw in a few mini meatballs. A variety of fresh herbs added to soup while reheating can also create interest. And you can create interesting soup concoctions as well: chicken soup plus lentil soup equals chicken lentil soup, etc.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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What a cool plan of action, Maggie.

I absolutely love Succotash Soup. I wish i had written the recipe. I've served this at winter dinner parties and it's a real gem. I must say you should go the extra mile and get the fresh herbs, especially fresh oregano - makes all the difference. Damn - wish i had a bowl of it right now...

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Might be making soup twice a week, with all your terrific suggestions and an afternoon in an armchair with a stack of cookbooks. I have molto inspiration.

Steven: I agree with you about the affinity of lamb and lentils. Awesome. But lamb and barley are also preordained lovers, and later this winter I hope to stir up a pot of what every Canadian knows as Scotch Broth. Scots wha hae and all that. And trust me, I have already foreseen the beauty of a freezer stocked with multiple soups, just waiting to be reheated - I'm rather excited about that. (In fact I discovered a serving of last week's Onion Soup in the freezer. Whahoo! Lunch on Monday.)

But remember that Smarty Boots who said she always had plenty of stock in the freezer? Hang head --she's got about a cup. But she will forge on with the lentil soup for tomorrow, thusly:

A pound of lentils, with onion and garlic softened in the fat from about six slices of bacon, which will be sliced into sexy lardons. The cup of stock, and lots of water. Chunky carrots, because I love that orange accent. A few tomatoes, because I think Priscilla has it right about a few red flecks, and the body tomatoes add. (I'd use celery if I had celery, but I don't.)

A bay leaf and some thyme. What would be amazing is summer savoury, but I forgot to plant some this year. And I think I'll nuke a potato and mash it, to add as a stabilizer.

I have a plan, and a soup. All's right with the world.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The shrimp and beet soup HelenaS put me onto abovementioned began with this recipe from Food & Wine mag. But I wanted clear, not chunky, and so strained the shrimp-veg stock and added in the beets which I'd roasted rather than boiled and diced finely, and finely-chopped cooked beet greens. In a small cocktail glass. Creme fraiche and a shrimp on top, and fresh dill.

I always like the affinity beet has for tomato, (also showing in Fritz Brenner's madrilene), and was impressed with how shrimp insinuated itself into that relationship.

Edited to add: My first soup of 2005 is away! Andersen'sesque split pea.

Edited by Priscilla (log)

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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The first soup of 2005 is likely to be a beef barley type. My sister and I were just discussing how much we like barley and I have this little beef chuck that I braised with mushrooms. I ate the mushrooms so I will have to improvise. I have some mushroom base that I found at the big HEB so that may help. I may even add a cup or so of onion confit. It will be a really rich and thick soup . . . the kind I like.

Does this count as week number one?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Great idea! Two ideas that are not whole recipes--

1. use rosemary in split pea soups--

2. I tend to eat bean/lentil soups over several days. The first day I eat them as whole bean/lentil soups, the second day I puree the leftover soup for 5 minutes with a hand blender. It creates a very light consistency. This works well with winter squash soups as well.

My rough list of resolutions is a screed of the usual guilt and fears: Stop smoking.  Make more time for friends. A thousand words a day, day in and day out.  Start shopping around the six pieces I've finished this year, that are sitting in a neat stack on the bookshelf.  Regain my lifetime record of fifty military pushups.  Never let unfolded laundry stack up on the dryer. Pedicures every two weeks.

A fine list, but I can cross off half: it ain't gonna happen.

But I've been thinking about soup.  I don't make it often enough -- maybe once a month.  Soup, in its infinite variety (52 varieties in this exercise,) is the perfect stroll through history, geography, gastromomy, botany and biology. It has the added value of being cheap, nutritious and seasonal. 

I usually have stock in my freezer, thanks to Barbara Kafka and Jacques Pepin.  Jacques for telling us that he puts his meat and veg scraps in a washed out milk carton in the freezer, to be transformed into a delicious and essentially free Bastard Broth. (My name.) And Kafka for urging us to make stock in the microwave ---a third the time and no scum.

Did onion soup last week, split pea in November.  I am perhaps the only person on earth who hasn't made squash/pumpkin soup, so that will be this week's soupe de semaine.  I'm liking Mark Bittman's recipe from The Minimalist Cooks at Home but  I'd love your suggestions, and your experience.

And if you add your favorite suggestions -- Asian, Latin American, Lithuanian or Hungarian, vegan or carnivore --  I'll try to make them all.  Just nothing that requires reading the date on a dime in the depths of the stockpot, caviar garnish or liver.

Off to do pushups. Please tell me if my spine isn't straight.

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And, dear purple, I was thinking about carrot soup about five minutes ago -- I love carrots.

La Boheme has a fixed menu every night, and one night when I was dining there this was the soup. I had a lot of misgivings, but I took one bite and absolutely loved it. And I truly LOATHE carrots if they taste anything at all like carrot. I can imagine that a carrot lover would really appreciate it :-).

Marcia.

Are you referring to La Boheme in Carmel? I ADORE this restaurant, and I think I've had their carrot soup on one of my visits. The waiter/ owner brings the soup to the table in a little copper pot, and balances the lid askew just so... :wub:

Maggie-Great idea!

PS A while back Jessica's Biscuit was selling Peterson's Soup Cookbook for half off. That will keep you off the streets & in the kitchen for a couple of years!

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Yes, fifi, this is Week One. Beef barley. Just amazing -- I'm panting. And another wonderful thing about soup is the infinite number of varaitions and inprovisations. For example, I think I'll scrap the whole idea of bacon and stock, and do it au maigre. I'll take a quick run up the highway to the fabulous Mexican market and get a couple of smoked pork chops. And some celery.

Only three pushups, but they were Marine Corps. No Girlie Man pushups for me.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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La Boheme has a fixed menu every night, and one night when I was dining there this was the soup. I had a lot of misgivings, but I took one bite and absolutely loved it. And I truly LOATHE carrots if they taste anything at all like carrot. I can imagine that a carrot lover would really appreciate it :-).

Are you referring to La Boheme in Carmel? I ADORE this restaurant, and I think I've had their carrot soup on one of my visits. The waiter/ owner brings the soup to the table in a little copper pot, and balances the lid askew just so... :wub:

That's the one :-). Some friends and I discovered it when we were walking past, and smelled the most amazing smells emanating from front door. I used to live in the Bay Area, and every so often we'd make a special trip to Carmel to eat there (ok, and shop!). Someday I am going to get back there for another meal....

I was SO surprised when I found they had the recipe on their web site - I stumbled on it when I was searching to find something similar. Who knew I would find the exact recipe for the soup of my dreams!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I was SO surprised when I found they had the recipe on their web site - I stumbled on it when I was searching to find something similar. Who knew I would find the exact recipe for the soup of my dreams!

Marcia.

Here is the link to La Boheme's recipes: http://www.laboheme.com/recipes.html

This is a nice French bistro if you find yourself in Carmel-more of a locals' place for a pleasant dinner than a special occasion, touristy place. Their menus are on the website above.

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