It has been a week here in our house. Without going into the details, let’s just say it has been a time when an immunity building soup has been in order.
Having been to Canyon Ranch on a few occasions in the past, I am on their email list and periodically receive messages with all sorts of information ranging from new programs and specials, to stretches, meditation and of course, healthy recipes.
Now, I happen to love onions. Give them to me raw, caramelized, on a pizza, in a sauce, on top of chicken or a steak and I will be a happy clam. Even better if they are in my Sauteed Onion & Yogurt Dip! If you haven’t made that recipe, you really must – it’s delicious and made healthier by swapping out the sour cream with Greek style yogurt. You get the point about onions.
So when Canyon Ranch sent a recipe for a Cream of Onion Soup, it was file, print and save for the right time…which was this week as it turned out. We needed all the antioxidants and this soup has them from the use of 5 types of onions, plus a bulb of garlic that is roasted until it’s nice and sweet.
To call this soup “cream of” I thought was a bit of a misnomer. Yes, there is some non fat sour cream in the recipe, but not heavy cream which is what I think of when I hear “cream of”. The caloric difference is pretty significant if that matters to you, and the purpose of adding it is add just a bit of luxury to otherwise pureed veggies and broth. In fact, I decided to lighten it up just a bit further and used half sour cream and half 2% yogurt which was really nice. I renamed the dish Creamy Onion Soup.
Otherwise, I followed the recipe to a T.
The recipe calls for 5 types of onions as I mentioned. Vidalia which are sweet, Maui which are also on the sweet side (they are oblong shape and if you can’t find them, use a regular yellow onion), scallions, leeks and chives. But first, start with a bulb of garlic (or around 15 cloves as I guesstimated) and roast those in a little bit of olive oil until lightly browned. Follow that by caramelizing the Vidalia and Maui onions in some butter or ghee for about 30-40 minutes until they have shrunken and turned lightly brown. Add in the scallions and leeks and saute until soft, followed by the addition of wine (optional in my opinion), the roasted garlic and some chicken broth. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes and then add the chives, sour cream and/or yogurt and give it a final pulse until smooth.
When I served it, I added a dollop of some yogurt that I mixed with lemon zest and lemon juice to give it a little punch and garnished the soup with more chopped chives.
I served it to my husband and asked for his thoughts. He said it was delicious but he wouldn’t have suspected it was onion, as it tasted like asparagus to him! Ok whatever – at least he thought it was delicious and he is a good judge believe me. The soup is creamy, tangy and a touch sweet from the onions and honestly I think you could serve it hot or cold. We had it for lunch yesterday and will probably finish it off today or tomorrow.
Now, the color isn’t exactly pretty but I hope you do enjoy the taste as much as we did if you make it. All of that garlic and the onions makes for a really healthy option if you find yourself under the weather for any reason. Enjoy!
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This recipe came from Canyon Ranch and was created by Maggie O'Mara, a Nutritionist and Demo Chef at its Lenox, Massachusetts location. It's full of antioxidants so particularly good to serve for an immunity boost!
- 1 bulb fresh garlic, peeled and separated into cloves (I used 15)
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
- 3 cups sliced Vidalia onions, 1-2 depending on their size
- 1 1/2 cups sliced Maui onions, about 1 onion
- 1 1/4 cups chopped scallions, about 1 bunch
- 1 cup sliced leeks, about 1 large
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, optional
- 5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped fresh chives, about 1 bunch
- 2/3 cup non fat sour cream (or 1/3 cup yogurt and 1/3 cup sour cream)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread garlic cloves on a sheet pan and lightly toss with some olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes until they start to brown and soften. Set aside.
- Melt butter or ghee in a large Dutch oven. Add the Vidalia and Maui onions and a pinch of salt. Cook onioins slowly, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, for about 30 to 40 minutes until caramelized and golden brown. Add the scallions and leeks. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the bits and pieces from the bottom. If you choose to omit the wine, this can be done with a little bit of the broth instead.
- Add the broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, slightly covered.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chives and puree using an immersion blender or a regular blender (be careful if blending it while hot to vent the blender). When almost finished, add the sour cream or yogurt-sour cream combo, salt and pepper and give it a final blend to incorporate.
- Serve. You can garnish with extra chives and a little yogurt that you mix with lemon zest and juice.