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Chilled vidalia onion soup

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The Runaway Spoon

(Read caption) Sweet Vidalia onions from Georgia make a perfect base for a chilled summer soup.

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From April through October, during farmers market season, I rarely visit the produce section of the grocery store. Why bother when there is so much beautiful, fresh, in season produce at the markets. I only seek out a few things that don’t grow here: lemons and limes, cherries from Michigan and Washington (I call to see when shipments arrive to get them as fresh as I can).

And Vidalia onions from Georgia. I love Vidalias. Vidalias are sweet, with just enough bite. They make the best caramelized onions, one of my favorite kitchen staples. I buy Vidalias in bulk, thinly slice them and let them gently caramelize in the slow-cooker then freeze Ziploc bags full. I store Vidalias in canvas bags in the pantry for when they are out of season. I am a Vidalia hoarder. And obviously, I cook with them.

In the summer, I love a creamy cold soup when the weather is so hot and steamy. Leek and potato vichyssoise is one of my favorites, and simple to put together. Once I have a big bowl of chilled vichyssoise in the fridge, I am set for several cooling meals. 

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The idea for a chilled onion soup first came to me when I ran across that recipe title in an old community cookbook during the height of Vidalia season. The title appealed to me, but the actual recipe was a strange combination of canned soups that was quite off-putting. So I decided to adapt a classic cold soup preparation highlighting the brilliant flavor of my favorite onion. Cooking the onions slowly keeps them sweet and mellow, melding perfectly with smooth milk. You could top this soup with some crispy croutons, chopped herbs, cooked bacon pieces or caramelized onion.

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