8 Glorious Alliums
Clockwise from top: Spring onion, red onion, white onion, chives, wild garlic, leeks, banana shallots and garlic in the centre.
A Celebration of the glorious allium is in order. Once again I have come out of blogging inertia as I am ill. I have the sore throat from hell. My already deep voice is at least 2 octaves lower and I am not happy. Yet, when I cook during such misery, I do seem to make the most delicious food. Just lately I have made this soup for several people suffering from the same throat infection who cooed and aaaahed at the salve it brought. So now for myself.... I hauled myself to the Farmers Market and gathered as many members of the onion family along with a bag of chicken carcasses.
Roasting the garlic and subsequent squishing of the sweet caramalised, dark garlicness is a labour intensive job but a worthwhile investment. However, if this is one step too far, you could simply saute the garlic in the onion line up. Currently in season is wild garlic, rampaging through the woods and easy to collect.
When I imbibed upon this symphony of allium I could actually feel the goodness working. Natures's medicine chest tasted particularly nourishing and comforting. Almost worth being ill for.
8 Onion Soup
2 medium white onions
1 large red onion
2 banana shallots
A generous handfull of wild garlic leaves
6 whole bulbs of garlic
4 spring onions (scallions)
50gms butter or olive oil
1.5 litres fresh chicken stock
Bayleaf & thyme
- Peel and chop the first 4 onions. Separate the top of the leeks from the bottom as the whiter half cooks quicker and is more delicate. You don't want it to catch and become bitter.
- Wash the wild garlic, prepare the spring onions and chives - reserve.
- Place 6 whole bulbs into a foil package with a sprig of thyme and sprinkle of olive oil and bake in hot oven for about 50 minutes or until they are golden and soft right through.
- Heat the butter in a pan until foaming and add the bayleaf and white onions, followed 3 minutes later with the red onion, then green leeks. Add the thyme. When these are all soft add the more delicate white leeks and shallots.
- Stir until they begin to soften and are on the verge of turning golden. Then add hot chicken (or vegetable) stock to just cover the onion mix.
- Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Then add the chopped wild garlic and spring onions, cook for just 3 or 4 minutes.
- When the garlic has roasted right through, peel away the papery covers and squish out the golden unctuous medicine.
- Remove the bayleaves and any stalks from the thyme. Add the garlic puree and blitz with a stick blender. Garnish with chives.
Ready for sweating. From right to left, first in to the foaming butter :
White onions, red onions, green part of the leeks, white part of leeks & shallots
Roasted garlic, glorious & oozingly caramalised
8 Onion soup to sooth the sorest throats.