Our lives are defined by opportunities; even the ones we miss.
By Trish Eichelberger, Austin Market Head Chef, Alamo Drafthouse
This classic soup is given an extra boost of flavor by slow roasting the often underutilized white bottoms of spring onion. The spring onion or scallion is not the typical allium you find in the more traditional versions of the age-old recipe. This seemingly French soup, whose origins are fairly unclear, usually plays off the lighter onion notes of the leek. Although I do adore leeks, they are a tad frustrating to work with, as so much of their volume goes to waste due to the tough and fibrous nature of the green tops. In the kitchens at the Alamo Drafthouse, we are guilty of letting the pungent white bottoms of most of our spring onions go to waste, favoring them mostly for their bright green and milder flavored tops. When it came time write a recipe for a menu for the much-anticipated Backwards Feast for David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I found it a good time to showcase the often overlooked and underappreciated green, or spring, onion.
This soup can be made vegetarian, and for the event we will be making a veggie version for our vegetarian guests; however, if your diet allows, I highly recommend using chicken stock for it will result in a much richer, more substantial soup.
4 bunches of firm fresh spring onions
4 lb Yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp butter
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 quart stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 quart cream
1 tsp ground allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
· Trim the green tops from the spring onion and set aside
· Trim the tap roots from the bottom of the green onions
· Spread them out on a sheet pan, cover lightly with oil and place in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until they are soft and roasted (this timing will vary depending on the thickness of the onions.)
· In a large soup pot, over medium heat, sweat the diced yellow onion in the butter until it is soft, fragrant and almost translucent.
· Add the roasted green onion bottoms
· Add the stock, potatoes & cream
· Allow to cook at a simmer until the potatoes are soft.
· Add the salt, pepper and allspice
· Using a stick blender or counter-top blender (use caution and do small batches) puree the soup until it is smooth.
· Taste to adjust seasoning
· Trim the green onion tops to very thin pieces and use these as a garnish for the creamy soup.
*if you have a chinois or fine strainer it is recommended to use it to achieve the most desirable texture.
The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin is proud to host the BENJAMIN BUTTON Backwards Feast on Wednesday, March 25. Get tickets here.