Spring Onion Soup
I don't normally go into superlatives about food I've cooked myself but this was THE BEST SOUP I've ever had or made. Period. At first glance, the recipe from Plenty More cookbook looked like a very simple soup (with tons of butter and olive oil) but the more I thought of the ingredients going in the soup, the more I realized it would be perfect for the spring season going on here in California. With freshly harvested seasonal ingredients that I can source from local farms, I started to envision a very green tasting soup with plenty of fat and acidity to cut down on the earthiness of the greens. And this soup is exactly that. Really fresh and bright with an amazing creamy base that stands well enough on it's own but the toppings (ohmygod the toppings!) take it to the top. Seriously, I can't praise this soup enough. Just make it, please?!
And don't be afraid of the amount of fat in the soup. The soup makes plenty of servings and it's very low calorie otherwise without the fat. Plus, you need the fat to balance all the green. Trust me on this. Just make it, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Recipe adapted from Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi
Makes 6 serving
2 1/2 lbs of spring onions (both white and red are ok, I used a mix of both)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 medium heads garlic (yes, heads, not cloves), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
1 large bunch parsley, bottom 3 inches chopped away and the rest of the greens and tender stems very coarsely chopped and set aside
400 gm fresh or frozen english peas (just under 1 lb); I shelled about 2 lbs of fresh peas to get that amount
1 medium zucchini, diced small
zest from 1 large lemon
1/2 cup creme fraiche
3 oz pecorino romano cheese, grated
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Cut off the bulb part of the onions (white or red) and slice 1/2" thick and set aside. Slice the greens into 1" pieces and set aside. In a wide 5-6 quart saucepan, heat butter on medium till melted. Add olive oil and the white/red portions of the onions along with garlic, salt and pepper and cook on medium stirring often for 15 minutes, till soft. Add the green portion of the onions and cook for another 10 minutes stirring often. Add the bay leaves and stock and bring to a boil on high. Reduce heat to simmer the soup fr 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add parsley. Let it wilt in the heat of the soup for 3 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend the soup till very smooth. It might take a couple of minutes, be patient. Put the soup back on the heat turned to high and add peas & zucchini. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 8 minutes till the peas are soft and tender. Take the soup off the heat and divide into six bowls. Top with lemon zest, creme fraiche, romano cheese and mint leaves. Serve hot and enjoy!