It may sound like I’m stretching things a bit but, just like fine wine, onions are a reflection of region and soil type. You could say each of the varieties such as, ‘Vidalia’, ‘Burgandy’, ‘Walla Walla’, and ‘White Portugal’ are vintages with their own unique pungency and complex pallet of flavors.
It makes perfect sense to me. Consider blackberries, one patch is not equal to the next thanks to sun (how much and from what aspect), heat (critical for sugar development), water (how much and when), soil (though blackberries will grow in anything) and finally region (dictating many of the before mentioned factors). My secret blackberry picking spot is the pinnacle, where the stars align to create berries that are out of this world amazing.
But blackberries, like grapes and eventually wine steal the show from plants like onions. And what would any of us do without onions? I would have to relearn how to cook.
Thank goodness for the incredible range of varieties or “vintages” and the places, soils and regions where they grow.
Spring onions are really any variety simply grown for early harvest, when they’re still tender and the bulb is developing. Perky and sweet with just a trace of sharpness to keep things interesting, these onions make everything taste amazing. Including this soup, wholeheartedly dedicated to onions. In fact, if you’re not an onion fan this isn’t the recipe for you.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 – 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch (4 – 6) sliced spring onions
- 1 large leek thinly sliced, white part only
- 1 bunch onion greens (use the greens from the spring onions if tender)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen shelled peas (the petite ones are nice)
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 handful julienned basil
- Plain yogurt
- Sourdough or sweet bread loaf
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Here’s what you do:
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. I warm it directly in the soup pot.
- Add onions, stirring until coated. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in leeks and 3/4 of the onion greens. Sauté an additional 10 minutes.
- This is when I prepare the crostini. Slice bread at an angle, brush with olive oil, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees. Remove from oven after 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Next add water, broth, peas and 1 tsp salt to soup pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice and turn off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with parmesan crostini and a spoonful of yogurt topped with fresh onion greens and basil.
Try ladling the soup over the crostini to serve. It’s amazing. But really amazing ingredients make amazing food.
Grow what you love.