Friday, December 23, 2016

Spring Onion Alphabet Soup

I’m not sure where this recipe originated. I got it in a promotional magazine in English, then later saw it in Coup de Pouce (I guess they don’t develop all their own recipes after all!). Here’s a link to it in Better Homes and Gardens. I made this because not only did it look good, but I thought the Little Prince would be into it given that he likes reading so much… I was wrong on that second count, he didn’t like the soup (even when I gave him very little broth and mostly pasta shapes). The soup itself was great, however, pairing leeks and green onions with lemon and basil, so here’s the recipe. Note that I couldn’t actually find alphabet pasta in stores, so I ordered it online – you could substitute acini de pepe or Israeli couscous. I served it with cheese toast (I eyeballed the amounts, really) and lactose-free sour cream.

¼ cup butter or margarine
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 large leek, white part thinly sliced (½ cup)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (½ cup)
2 cups fresh or frozen shelled peas
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup small dried pasta (alphabet-shaped or acini di pepe)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lemon, juiced (3 Tbsp.)
1 cup torn basil leaves
8 slices sourdough bread
3 oz. fontina cheese, shredded (I used lactose-free gruyère)
lactose-free sour cream, for serving

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add Vidalia onion slices; stir until coated. Cook, covered, 15 minutes until translucent and soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in leek and green onions. Cook, covered, 10 minutes more or until leeks are softened. Stir in peas. Add chicken broth, water, pasta, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and basil leaves.

Top slices of sourdough bread with fontina cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top soup with bread slices and serve with lactose-free sour cream.

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