Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cream of Double Onion Soup

Yesterday, I walked into work and found a nice little care package on my chair.  What was it, you ask?  Was it chocolate?  No, better?  Was it wine?  No, we were at work, remember?  A billion dollar winning lottery ticket?  Would I still be here?  Okay, guessing games aren't your forte, are they?  Let's make this simple, then.  It was a bag of huge, and I do mean huge, yellow onions courtesy of my best friend's dad.  He had gotten an enormous bag of them and was happily giving them away.  Being the sweet guy that he is, he made sure to send some home for me.  Thanks, Bob, much appreciated! 

So, what was I going to make with these big, beautiful onions?  A huge vat of caramelized onions sounded appealing but I would have to share them with my husband and daughter, and sometimes, sharing is highly overrated.  Hmmmm, what to make, what to make?  Thinking about it now, I could have caramelized a few and made a homemade pizza with that as the main ingredient, which would have been divine but my mind was already elsewhere.

How about Cream of Onion Soup, I thought?  We do love onions, and soups, why not put them together?  As soups are wont to do, the recipe started forming in my head.  Yes, I wanted it creamy, but my waistline reminded me that we have been trying to slim down a little, so let's do a "skinny" version.  Hey, this could work!  Some non-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat half and half would make it silky and smooth.  A little sage to tease even more flavor from the onions.  And, why not go over the top with this and use some green onions, too?  Yep, it's decided, this is what we are having for supper, and we shall call it "Cream of Double Onion Soup!"

Here is your Cast of Characters.

4 Large onions
10 Green onions
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 Cups plain, non-fat Greek yogurt plus 3 tablespoons flour
2 Cups fat-free half and half
5 Cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon peppercorns
5 Sage leaves, fresh or dried
2 Tablespoons Lawry's season salt
1 Teaspoon, each, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb seasoning & McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 Tablespoons chicken bouillon granules (not pictured because they were a last minute addition)
Couple of dashes of cayenne pepper - optional (another last minute addition)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over low heat while you chop the onions into thin wedges.  You can do rings, but I wanted something a little smaller and easier to eat.

When all the onion are chopped, toss in melted butter and turn to medium heat.

Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile, crush the peppercorns until pretty fine.

Add sage, and crush a little more.

Stir flour into the Greek yogurt, blend well.  Cut the white and light green parts of the green onions into little rounds.

After timer has gone off, add remaining tablespoon of butter and chopped green onions.  Cook for 10 minutes, remembering to stir every now and then.

Cut the green onion tops on the diagonal, and set aside for now.

Add seasonings to the onions, and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.  Then, broth and half and half.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the goodness from it!

Next, blend in yogurt mixture.  Stir well to combine.

Cook for 10 minutes, and stir in green onion tops.

Turn to medium-low heat, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until flavors have melded.
Optional, add a couple of good dashes of cayenne pepper.

Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve with a warm, crusty loaf of bread.  I used some of my grandma's bread. 

For those of you who might be doubtful about a whole soup based around onions, first let me remind you of French Onion soup.  Second, let me tell you about what's going on in this soup.  The Greek yogurt plays two roles.  It definitely makes the soup creamy, and the flour thickens it a little.  Then, it also adds a twang to the soup.  I can't describe it any better, but once you taste it, you'll know.  We also have the sage and nutmeg, which are more subtle, but enhance the onions perfectly.  And, finally, the chicken bouillon granules add depth that the soup was missing prior to that.  With using so many onions, the soup is hearty and filling.