Make us your home page
Instagram

In Our Kitchen: Recipe for Sweet Onion Soup with Caraway and Croutons

This sweet onion soup is lighter than the classic French approach, topped with caraway and croutons rather than a lid of cheese.

Ileana Morales Valentine | Special to the Times

This sweet onion soup is lighter than the classic French approach, topped with caraway and croutons rather than a lid of cheese.

It is soup season.

I love a ribollita with white beans and a handful of Tuscan kale. Or a comforting lentil and fennel sausage soup. The thought of onion soup usually takes me right to that classic French approach. French onion soup comes with a thick lid of broiled cheese and bread capping a brown, rich soup. But the newest cookbook in my collection, The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits, offers a lighter version of onion soup that elevates the humble onion.

For this sweet onion soup, we have butter and cream, but the thick cheese layer is replaced with rye croutons and caraway. A bundle of thyme, parsley and a bay leaf adds flavor and color to the mess of golden onions. In the end, the soup becomes silky smooth when everything gets blitzed together.

The recipe is easy to make and the ingredients are fairly simple. The results? I made the soup in the afternoon on a day off, and by that night, a soup that was supposed to serve six was greedily scooped up by two. My husband asked if there was any more soup, and I found him swirling a spatula around the sides of the pot to make sure not a drop was left.

The concoction is pale green and frothy, very pretty with a sprinkling of toasted caraway seeds and golden rye croutons. A small sprig of fresh parsley curved to the edge of the bowl adds color and freshness.

Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]

>>MODERATE

Sweet Onion Soup With Caraway and Croutons

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 ½ pounds sweet onions, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

1 cup celery, minced

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

Coarse sea salt

Rye bread, diced into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted

In a heavy, medium-sized pot (I like to use my Dutch oven), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring regularly, until they become fragrant, golden and caramelized.

Add the celery and cook for

5 more minutes. Bundle up the thyme, parsley and bay leaf in some kitchen twine and toss that in, too. Add the chicken stock. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cream. Season the soup with a pinch of salt and remove the herb bundle. Remove the pot from the heat and get ready to puree. An immersion blender makes this easy work. Simply stick the blender in the pot and blitz everything until smooth. Or, set up your blender with a clean pot next to it. Rest a conical sieve in the empty pot. Arm yourself with a small ladle for pushing the soup through the sieve into said clean pot. Puree the soup in batches and pour it through the sieve into the empty pot. (You can omit the straining if you want to go in a more rustic direction.) Taste the soup and adjust seasoning with salt if necessary.

In a small bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil. Place a handful in a small saute pan and toast over medium-high heat until crisp. Keep an eye on them. They go from golden brown to burnt quickly. Remove croutons from heat and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining bread cubes.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish each one with a pinch of toasted caraway seeds, croutons and a small sprig of parsley.

Serves 4 to 6.

Source: The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits by Hugh Acheson

In Our Kitchen: Recipe for Sweet Onion Soup with Caraway and Croutons 02/01/16 [Last modified: Monday, February 1, 2016 2:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Cast up to the challenge in Richey Suncoast's 'How the Other Half Loves'

    Stage

    Theater has many plays where there are two completely different apartments depicted on the stage, usually split down the middle, one on the right, one on the left.

    "How the Other Half Loves" runs weekends through Oct. 29 at Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey. Cast members are Christine Stoll and  David Daly (in front) and Bob Marcela, Heather Clark, Mike Worssell and Blake Parker (in back, from left). [Photo by Jess Glass]
  2. Review: Excellent cast delivers entertaining production of 'Young Frankenstein' at Stage West

    Stage

    I went to see the musical comedy Young Frankenstein at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill with some trepidation. I had seen a very good production of the show at another theater a couple of years ago, and I was concerned that I would subconsciously compare the two to the detriment of one or the …

    "Young Frankenstein" plays weekends through Oct. 29 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Keith Surplus, left, performs as Igor and Lynda Dilts-Benson, right, as Frau Blucher. [Photo by Carol Ballard]
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Oct. 23-29

    Events

    R. L. Stine: It's fitting that the week before Halloween, USF's Lecture Series features the popular horror author known for the Goosebumps series. Stine will discuss his career, creative process and sign books Wednesday at the Marshall Student Center in Tampa. Free. .

    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 09: Singer Anthony Hamilton performs onstage at the 2014 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at the Phillips Arena on August 9, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Ford Neighborhood Awards)
  4. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  5. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.