Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 14, 2011: Roast onion soup

Cindy and I came back from an impromptu weekend away that had been filled with snacks, wine and chocolate, so we decided to make something vaguely healthy to make us feel human again. We perused Cindy's bookmarked soup recipes and settled on this autumnal offering from Lucy at Nourish Me. We rarely have the energy to make our own stock around these parts, but Lucy's helpful integration of a speedy stock recipe to fill the onion-roasting time meant that I gave it a shot. I got a bit too rushed by the end of making this, so next time we'll probably make it on a weekend (which would have the added benefit of more stock-simmering time).

I'm not sure how much different/better it was than using pre-made stock, but it's hard to deny that this was a wonderful soup - the sweetness of the roasted onions was given some zing by the lime leaves and chilli and smoothed over by the coconut milk. The big chunks of soft onion were a nice textural treat as well. We made a few small changes to the recipe - mostly through my inattention or shopping inability - but it still worked out a treat.

Roast Onion Soup 
(shamelessly pilfered from Nourish Me)

4 brown onions
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 knob of ginger, grated
2 tiny red chillies, diced finely
2 tablespoons of tamari
165mL coconut milk
1 - 1.5L of stock
Splash of lime juice

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Halve the onions (leaving the skin on) and toss with the oil. Bake for 30-45 minutes, turning once (ours were super soft and browned up by about 30m possibly because our oven was too hot).

(Make the stock while the onions are roasting.)

Cut the lime leaves up into tiny little ribbons, discarding the stem in the middle.

Once the onions are ready, the skin should peel away easily. Chop the peeled onions into coarse pieces (you probably need to wait for them to cool before doing this - or use a fork as Lucy suggests).

Combine the chopped onion, stock, lime leaves, chillies, ginger and tamari in a big pot and bring it all to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add in the coconut milk plus extra tamari and salt and pepper to taste.

Speedy vegetable stock 
(also via Nourish Me)

2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup or so of parsley, roughly chopped (stalks and all)
1/2 cup of white wine
6 cups of water
1 teaspoon of stock powder

Fry the bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and parsley in the oil for 5-10 minutes.

Throw in the wine and cook it on high until it evaporates away.

Add the water and bring to the boil, before simmering for half an hour or so. Stir through the stock powder right before turning off the heat. Strain the stock with a sieve over a bowl, pressing the veggies to get the most liquid out of them.

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