Velvety Onion Soup with Whipped Potato
- SERVINGS: 8
Superior ingredients are essential in this soup, such as homemade chicken stock. Aged balsamic vinegar is worth the hefty price; only a few drops are used for each serving.
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 1 carrot, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 scallions, finely chopped
- 6 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 baking potato (1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Aged balsamic vinegar and cayenne pepper or paprika, for sprinkling
- In a large saucepan, cover the chicken wings with 10 cups of water. Add the carrot and celery and bring to a boil. Skim, add a few pinches of salt and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Strain the stock and skim off the fat. Measure out 1/2 cup of stock and set it aside.
- Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add 2 quarts of the chicken stock and a pinch of salt and simmer over low heat until the onions and scallions are very soft, about 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Pour the soup into a clean saucepan and season with salt.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the potato, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook over low heat, stirring, until the potato pieces are glazed, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of water and simmer over moderately low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Pass the potato through a ricer into a medium bowl. Fold the whipped cream into the potato and season with salt.
- Ladle the hot soup into warmed shallow bowls. Drizzle 8 drops of balsamic vinegar over each soup, then mound 2 tablespoons of the whipped potato in the center. Sprinkle with cayenne and serve at once.
A big, full-bodied Chardonnay will complement the richness of the onion soup first course, as well as the fruit and acidity of the saffron linguine with tomatoes.