Weekly Winner – A Bowl of Luscious, Stinky Goodness

onion soupThis week’s Weekly Winner is not a recipe for people who do not like onions.  I’m not talking about a little onions, I’m talking about onions in all variations – leeks, shallots, big ol’ Vidalias … you get the idea.  It is also not for those of you who are looking for a quick soup to whip up on a moment’s notice.  This recipe is not hard, but it takes time — a lot of time.

Having said all that, if you have the time, and you are not afraid of our smelly friend Allium Cepa (onion) then by all means, forge ahead with this recipe.  It is Creamy Carmelized Onion Soup and I adore it.  It is luxurious, smooth as silk, soul-satisfyingly rich and the perfect thing to make on a day like yesterday, when you are waiting for the first big storm of the winter season to hit.  Alas, we did not get any snow as predicted, but I was comforted by this wonderful soup.  Be warned, your entire house will smell like cooked onions for days.  Mine does.  I don’t mind.  It’s worth it.    I got the recipe from Martha Stewart Living years ago.

Creamy Caramelized Onion Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 pounds (3 to 4) leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed well and coarsely chopped

5 garlic, thinly sliced

7 large shallots, about 14 ounces, thinly sliced

2 large Vidalia onions, about 20 ounces, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3/4 cup dry white vermouth

4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

Coarse salt

1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, shallots, and half of the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are deep golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Add vermouth, stock, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Let cool. Puree onion mixture in batches in a blender until smooth, about 3 minutes per batch. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add remaining onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cover, and set aside.

Return onion puree to saucepan. Stir in cream. Reheat over medium heat, stirring, until heated through but not boiling. Season with salt, if desired. Serve, topped with caramelized onions.

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