Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creamy Roasted-Onion Soup

The 'creamy' in the title comes from the pureed onions themselves, not dairy cream. And believe it or not, roasting the onions and garlic makes this soup almost sweet!

Peel and quarter 1 and 1/4 pounds sweet onion (such as Oso or Vidalia). Place the onion quarters on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, then coat the tops of the onion quarters with cooking spray as well.

Remove the white papery skin from a whole head of garlic, but don't peel or separate the cloves. Place on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon water. Wrap up the foil, and place on the baking sheet with the onion quarters.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, turning the onions over halfway through cooking. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Place the onion quarters in a saucepan. Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the pulp into the pan; discard the skins. Add 28 ounces vegetable broth and 1 bay leaf. (Note: you could also add about 1/8 tsp. crushed saffron threads, if you like, although I did not). Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then stir in 3 tablespoons dry sherry or Madeira (I used the latter, since I already had a bottle at home), 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to about medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

Note: for more on vegan analysis of Madeira, see my post for Warm Mushroom Spread.

Discard the bay leaf, and transfer the rest of the mixture to a blender; process until smooth. I recommend removing the top piece of the blender and covering over with a paper towel instead, since the soup is still hot; that way steam can escape and you won't have an explosion!

Return the pureed mixture to the saucepan. Cook the soup over low heat until heated again, then stir in an additional tablespoon sherry or Madeira and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 4 bowls. In place of Swiss cheese to sprinkle on top, I used the smoked cheddar from Sheese (www.veganessentials.com). Whichever vegan cheese you choose, sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons-worth. You could also garnish with some chopped parsley for a pretty presentation!

Each bowl of soup is 160 calories.

sweet onions $2.04
garlic head $0.63
vegetable broth $3.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html