What a gorgeous day!!! Winter’s grip has finally loosened and apparently we’ve skipped spring all together. It was about 80 here in upstate New York and I couldn’t be happier. I thought about making a cold soup…but I’m usually disappointed with cold soups, so I opted for something I saw on Epicurious Last week: Caramelized Leek Soup. I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for Raclette recipes, which I have been obsessed with ever since I saw this incredible post by one of my favorite bloggers LUXIRARE. Raclette is best described as a Gruyere-type cheese that is pretty stinky and tastes strange cold. But boy oh boy, throw that shit on a grill or in a frying pan and WHAM its incredibly salty, buttery and delicious. The recipe on Epicurious for Raclette toasts suggested that it be paired with a caramelized leek soup and since I absolutely adore leeks, I couldn’t wait to get out the door and to the store. The soup was delicious, light enough to be enjoyed on a hot day and pretty easy to make. I made a few adjustments like adding red onions and substituting a chardonnay dessert wine from Bouchaine for the Vermouth,
Caramelized Leek and Red Onion Soup with Raclette Toasts
1 Bunch Leeks
1 Box low sodium chicken broth (I always use low sodium because I like to add my own fancy salt)
1/2 red onion, chopped in small pieces
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs butter (maybe try 1/4 cup olive oil if you are afraid of butter, which you shouldn’t be)
1/3 cup sweet white wine
1/2 baguette cut into 12 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup Raclette cheese
1. Thoroughly wash the leeks and remove the dark green stems and bottom roots. Slice lengthwise and then chop into very small pieces. Melt 1/2 of the butter in a large nonstick frying pan, deep enough to hold liquid.
2. Sautee the leeks on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until they start to become soft, then add the red onions, sugar and salt and continue to cook for at least another 15 minutes, until they start to turn brown and fragrant. Add the wine and a splash of broth and the rest of the butter to “deglaze” the pan and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth and turn down the heat to a very low simmer and cook for ten minutes.
5. Toast the slices of baguette either in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet in your over for ten minutes on 450. In a separate nonstick pan, melt the Raclette until it bubbles and some of the oil separates. Spoon the melty cheese onto the toasts and serve in the soup.