FOUR ONION SOUP … a wedding soup for 150 guests

A celebration of love.

An occasion filled with joy.

A North country camp wedding for AJ and Sean.

The first course to be prepared by the family.  An epic undertaking.   How do you make  Soup for 150 wedding guests?  We accomplished this by increasing recipe  to forty quarts.   I multiplied the recipe times twenty.  The mountain of various onions took  seventeen man hours of chopping.  To keep the volume to a minimum we added the chicken stock the afternoon of the wedding.   Truly a labour of love for our granddaughter AJ and Sean.

To start you require a  battery of stock pots.

And the games begin.  We chop …eighty fat leeks, twenty pounds of onions,  five pounds of shallots, garlic, parsnips, apples.

Knives flashing as we chop our way through a mountain of vegetables.

That’s it.  We’re finished chopping and cooking.  Now the soup concentrate goes into containers and we have a glass of wine!

It’s early afternoon  in the Onondaga Camp kitchen. The Good Husband chops the scallion garnish for the Four Onion Wedding soup.  Eighty quarts of the soup simmers gently.   Everything is ready.

In a few hours the wedding will take place  under a cathedral of trees.  We hurry to change into wedding attire.   So much excitement.  So much love.

FOUR ONION SOUP …  makes 2 –  2.5 quarts

4 leeks, trimmed and split lengthwise

3 tb. butter

2 tb. olive oil

2 Vidallia or other mild white onion diced

6 large shallots thinly sliced

4 fat garlic cloves minced

2 parsnips peeled and chopped]1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and chopped

1 generous cup dry white wine

6 cups home-made chicken broth

2 tsp salt

1 generous tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tb. chopped fresh marjoram, basil or oregano

1 generous tb chopped fresh chives or flat leaf  parsley

6 scallions trimmed and chopped (include as much of the green as possible)

Now start your soup:

Soak leeks in a large bowl with cold water for a good ten minutes.  Rinse well, drain and slice into 1/4 inch rounds.  Do not include any of the tough, dark green outer leaves.

Heat butter and olive oil in your large stockpot.  Add the leeks, onions, shallots and a little salt to draw out the moisture,  and saute gently for about 15 minutes until the vegetables become translucent.  Add garlic and saute gently for a few more minutes.  Do not let your vegetables brown.

Now add the parsnips and apple and saute for five to ten minutes stirring occasionally.  Add the wine and simmer gently to reduce the wine a little.  Add the rich chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste your soup.  If it seems a little flat add a little more salt and pepper.  If it seems to like real depth of  flavour add a chicken bouillon cube.

Remove about 2 cups of the soup and let cool slightly.  Puree the soup in food processor until smooth.  Return this mixture to the pan and stir to blend thoroughly.

Stir in the herbs, chives and or parsley.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with a generous topping of scallions.  Serve immediately.


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