Cast Iron

Allium Bisque with Frizzled Leeks & Rosemary

April 18, 2012
Author Notes

Simple, nourishing and fresh, this allium bisque combines the over-wintered onions, shallots and garlic with spring's leeks and fresh rosemary. The flavor is complex while it's mild sweetness is cut with a splash of white wine vinegar. Leeks caramelized in a bit of clarified butter deepen the soup's flavor, aroma and texture. —Jenny McGruther

Test Kitchen Notes

The bisque is very accessible in terms of ease of preparation and availability and cost of ingredients. It was creamy and velvety without the addition of heavy cream, a major plus in my book. It tasted slightly sweet, and the frizzled leeks added a burst of intensity to what would otherwise be a fairly simple soup. However, the recipe doesn’t outline when and how to use the garlic, and the rosemary contributes very little flavor and was almost undetectable. This is a satisfying soup that successfully highlights the flavors of early spring alliums. —Meg Salvia

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • Allium Bisque
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, sliced thin
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • unrefined sea salt, as needed
  • ground white pepper, as needed
  • frizzled leeks (recipe follows)
  • Frizzled Leeks
  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
  • 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, sliced thin
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Allium Bisque
  2. Melt ghee in a heavy-bottomed skillet over a moderate flame, then toss in rosemary, sliced leek, shallots and onion. Sweat the onion, leek and shallots in ghee until fragrant and tender, about five minutes, then remove rosemary and discard.
  3. Pour one and one-half quarts roasted chicken stock over the tender leeks, onions and shallots and simmer, covered, for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and uniform in texture. Stir in vinegar and season with unrefined sea salt and ground white pepper. Dress the onion bisque with frizzled leeks just before serving.
  1. Frizzled Leeks
  2. Melt ghee in a cast iron skillet over a moderately high flame, then toss in sliced leek. Fry the sliced leeks in ghee until browned and crisp. Remove immediately from the pan and serve over onion bisque.
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Jenny McGruther is a food educator and the voice behind the award-winning traditional foods website Nourished Kitchen, and the cookbook The Nourished Kitchen. She teaches workshops and retreats on traditional foods, fermentation, and food activism. Jenny’s work emphasizes back-to-basics, old-world culinary techniques, and simple, traditional home cooking. Her second book, Broth and Stock, will be available next May.