Four Onion Soup or How to Wash Leeks

I love soup.  Sometimes I lovingly spend hours concentrating my own vegetables for stock and sometimes I just doctor up a can of tomato soup; I just love those bowls of warm deliciousness any which way.

The other night, I tried to funk up a basic French Onion Soup recipe by changing the onion varieties and adjusting the flavoring; but something was off. Hence why French Onion Soup is a classic; and “Your Kind of Onion Soup” is not. (Not yet, right? RIGHT?)
I won’t give a recipe per se; but just the basics of how I put it together and what I would have done differently.  Please feel free to do everything differently or delete this post immediately.

What I started with:
Good intentions, Plugra Butter, Leeks, Scallions, Chives, White Onions, Sea Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Garlic, Bourbon, Nutmeg (I would also plan on using a bit of apple cider next time), Beef Bouillon and Chicken Bouillon.

After washing scallions, chives, and peeling the white onion; I chopped them all into strips and tossed them into a large bowl.  I next cleaned the leeks.

Leeks are very gritty, so its important that you clean them thoroughly:
Chop off the dark green leaves and the ends.

For this recipe; slice length-wise.
(you could also slice them into rounds)

Slice in half cross-wise.

Fill a large bowl (or your clean sink) with cold water and put the leeks in.

Give them a good swish so that the grit and dirt falls to the bottom (I also picked out some of the tougher outer layers).

Once clean, remove leeks from water with a slotted spoon (or ahem, your hands), give another rinse under cold water; and pat dry. Add to your bowl of chopped onions.

Set a large pot over medium heat. Add the best butter you have. Plugra butter is a rich, delicious, European-style butter; and in a dish like onion soup where the ingredient list is minimal; you want to use the very best ingredients.
Once the butter is melted; add all of the clean, chopped onions and one clove of chopped garlic.

Add PLENTY of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Set the heat to medium; cover the pot and let the onions cook.
And cook.
And cook.
And cook some more.
This should take about an hour. I recommend you watch 3 episodes of 30 Rock on Hulu while you wait. Just sayin’

After the Liz Lemon hilarity; you should have something like this in your pot:

The onions should be absolutely tender. At this stage, I added 2 tbs of bourbon, a pinch of nutmeg (and would have added 2 tablespoons of apple cider). I was going for a subtle, fall-like sweetness. I gave it a few hearty stirs to burn off the alcohol (which should take a minute or two) and then re-covered the pot and cooked for a bit longer.

Next, I added a tablespoon of beef bouillon, and a tablespoon of chicken bouillon and 2 quarts of water.

I stirred it well and let it simmer……
…..and after another 30 minutes or so…..I had this masterpiece.

And honestly, it LOOKS beautiful; but the taste was off; maybe I’m just missing the traditional sherry flavor or just the big hunk of cheese toast, or maybe this was just horribly wrong and you’re silently cringing at my weak attempt.

Any way, thanks for reading.
I might try to re-purpose this “Onion Broth” another way so stay tuned, there’s plenty of 30 Rock Episodes I haven’t seen yet.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lizzy says:

    I just bought the chicken bouillon- my mom swears by it when she makes her amazing leek soup…. so question… do you think maybe the taste was off cuz you mixed the beef bouillon with chicken broth? Maybe just try it with water next time? And no cheese Anne? I expect more from you.

  2. Jen says:

    Did I ever tell you about the time I tried to make onion soup, but instead of sweetening it with sugar, I put in raisins? Onion soup with raisins! Sounds great, right? The result was as ridiculous and nauseating as you can imagine.

    This is why I don’t have a food blog.

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