Winter arrived in northern California this week. Two mornings ago the temps dropped to 33F, prompting me to move my tender potted plants to more sheltered areas for the next few months.
And then our gloomy Saturday melted into rain this afternoon, making me feel like going into full hibernation mode: snuggling up to our cozy woodstove (which we’ve been burning fires in for over a week now), resisting sleepiness all afternoon, and craving comfort foods like homemade biscuits, cookies, and soup.
I know you folks from hardier climes: Colorado, the midWest, the northeast, and Canada think I’m whining… After all, what’s a bit of rain in above freezing temps, when the rest of you are having to deal with REAL winter weather?!! Chalk it up to being a wimpy San Francisco Bay area Californian who likes her sunshine most of the year (and gets it). And thinks a warm rain like you experience back east in the summer is nothing short of an other worldly experience.
But this isn’t your evening weather report. As dusk gathered, it was time to figure out something for dinner. I accidentally had purchased a second bag of organic yellow onions a few days ago, only to notice an unused bag filling up the second tier of the wire mesh basket hanging by the kitchen sink when I got home. Knew then I’d need to make some sort of onion soup soon. Tonight seemed a good time for it.
I didn’t want to do a classic French Onion Soup, which is often much too oily for my taste. Thought some sort of ‘creamy’ onion soup (but not a pureed cream soup) might be nice. So I went looking for general guidelines and ideas on the internet. Printed out a few versions and then improvised this hearty organic vegetarian soup, which my hubby and I thought was really yummy.
Creamy Onion Veggie Soup (Serves 4-8)
INGREDIENTS (Organic, if possible)
* 1 Tablespoon Stonehouse Extra Virgin Garlic Olive Oil
* 1 Tablespoon Organic Virgin Olive Oil (I used Trader Joe’s)
* 4 Tablespoons Organic Salted Butter
* 4 Organic White Onions, sliced
* 1 pint (approx.) Organic brown Crimini Mushrooms, cut into chunks
* 1 Teaspoon dried or fresh Rosemary leaves (or to taste…use a light hand)
* Chipotle powder, Black Pepper, Sea Salt to taste
* 1/4 cup Organic All-Purpose Flour
* 1 – 32 oz carton, Pacific brand (or homemade) Organic Veggie Broth
* 1 large Orange Organic Sweet Pepper, diced into medium chunks
* 1 stalk of Organic Broccoli, florets cut small, stems peeled & sliced
* 1 cup Organic whole Milk
* Fage Greek Yogurt
* Sharp Cheddar, grated
~ COMBINE olive oils in large, heavy bottomed, soup pot.
~ SAUTE onions & mushrooms over medium heat, until onions are transparent and slightly browned.
~ ADD the butter as mushrooms absorb the oil.
~ SPRINKLE in sea salt and slightly crushed rosemary leaves.
Turn off the heat while you:
~ ADD flour and stir to blend well.
~ ADD the Pacific Vegetable Broth, a cup or so at a time, stirring for a smooth blend without any flour lumps.
~ ADD 4 good dashes of Chipotle powder (or to taste), Ground Black Pepper and more Sea Salt (to taste)
Turn the stove back on to medium heat.
~ ADD the sweet pepper chunks & broccoli.
~ COOK for 5 minutes or until the broccoli’s just tender.
~ ADD 1 cup of whole milk. STIR to blend.
~ SERVE garnished with a generous dollop of Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream) and a generous sprinkling of grated sharp Cheddar.
This hearty onion vegetable soup would be delicious accompanied by a rustic, crusty bread or homemade biscuits and a fresh green salad for a light dinner or satisfying lunch. It also would star as a delicious introduction to your Thanksgiving or other winter holiday dinners. Give it a try!
Printable Recipe: CreamyOnionVeggieSoup (PDF)