Chef Mary Reilly’s Creamy Onion Soup

creamyonion soupPhoto Credit – Dave Reilly

I have always been passionate about food and feeding people.  To me, a great meal is not just nourishment; it’s also an opportunity to share with friends and family and to connect with my community.  In the last few years, I have fed as many people as I could through my business, The Savory Kitchen, and I’m excited to now be able to share this passion with you at Enzo Restaurant & Bar. Chef/Owner Mary Reilly

Creamy Onion Soup


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Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 leeks, washed and cut into rings (include the green part of the leek)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice (substitute another rice - use what you have on hand. Short grain rices will yield a creamier soup)
  • approximately 1 quart of water (substitute chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper
  • garnishes of your choice (we use herb butter to garnish our soup)

Note

In this recipe, the word "creamy" describes the texture of the soup, not the ingredients.  At Enzo, we are happy to accommodate the dietary restrictions of our guests and have learned that it is easier to add dairy, meat or grains at the end of the preparation: allowing us to serve the same soup to diners with vegan, gluten-free or other special dietary needs. The rice used in this recipe serves to add a creamy texture without dairy or any flour-based thickener - it's pretty amazing.

Directions

1 In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions, leeks and garlic.
2 Sauté until lightly browned and softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt.
3 Add the rice and stir to combine. Pour water into the pot - just enough to cover everything by about 1/2", about 1 quart of water.
4 Bring to a simmer and cook until the rice is falling apart and the vegetables are tender.
5 Cool slightly and then puree in a blender until very smooth. (A blender is a better choice than a food processor, but if all you have is a processor, strain the solids from the liquid (reserving all the liquid) and puree the solids in the processor.
6 Whisk the liquid back in after the solids are smooth.
7 Add more water or stock to make a "soupy" consistency.
8 Season to taste with salt and pepper.
9 If your onions are very sweet (and fall harvested onions usually are), you may be shocked by how much salt you need to add, but keep adding it until the flavor seems right.
10 Reheat if necessary and garnish with herb butter, crispy bacon, crisp-fried shallots, snipped herbs, whatever you have on hand.