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Creamy Pine Island Onion Soup

Every year the week before the Super Bowl, the crew from The Grapevine Cottage gathers for Soup Bowl Sunday. Each couple brings a pot of soup and an interesting bottle of wine to share. The 2010 soups included Oyster Stew; Chicken, Duck and Sausage Gumbo; Seafood Chowder; Lentil Soup with Ham; Lobster Bisque; Beef and Plantain Soup; and Roasted Parsnips with Vanilla and White Chocolate Soup.

This is the recipe for the soup Tom Landshof brought — Creamy Pine Island Onion Soup. (Adapted from James Haurey, Crystal Inn, Warwick, N.Y)

Serves 6


1/2 pound (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds yellow onions, peeled, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Morton’s Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
1 pint heavy cream
1 small bunch of chives, thinly sliced
croutons for garnish


In a large stockpot with a heavy bottom, melt butter with olive oil over low heat until frothy. Add onions, salt and black pepper and sauté slowly, stirring frequently, taking care not to let onions brown, until they are completely soft and tender, about 1 hour.

Add wine, turn heat to medium, and simmer until reduced by a half, about 1/2 hour. Add heavy cream and cook over low heat until reduced by a third, about 1/2 hour.

Transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Transfer soup to a large, clean pot, return to serving temperature over low heat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve in bowls garnished with a sprinkle of chives, and croutons.

Note: “James Haurey, chef at the Crystal Inn, a restaurant in Warwick, NY makes a classic cream-based onion soup that is masterfully minimal. To show off the freshness of the onion, he resists caramelizing it, choosing instead a long, slow braise in butter, olive oil and dry white wine. Once puréed, the silky, lily-white soup that results is naturally quite sweet, almost fruity. It's rich enough that it thickens to custard consistency at room temperature, and it can double as a sauce for roast lamb (what Francophiles might recognize as a sauce soubise, minus the starch), or as a base for any number of other ideas, like fish chowder, pasta sauce or ham-and-bean soup.” (The New York Times, October 24, 2007)