This is one of our favorite soups around my house. It’s warm and comforting, especially on those cold winter nights. It’s rich and creamy. It’s filled with veggies. It’s fairly light on calories for the flavor punch that it packs. It’s full flavored, just delicious with all those onions and roasted garlic and leeks. MMM, yum!
Now, don’t let the word “bisque” scare you off; it’s just a fancy word for thick creamy soup made of puréed vegetables.
It takes a little time to make, but not much active working time. Mostly just caramelizing the onions and roasting the garlic. Then there’s a little blender work. And don’t forget, the darker you cook the onions, the darker the soup will be, so don’t skimp on the caramelizing step.
I’ve used the leftovers as a sauce for pasta, adding in some toasted pine nuts and corn. I’ve used the sauce as gravy over mashed potatoes or chicken (for the husband). And, I’ve always been pleased with how delicious and versatile it is.
Feel free to use whatever milk you prefer, from whole dairy milk to lower fat dairy to plant-based milks. For the soup in the pictures here I used whole milk, but will often use 1% milk. The color of the soup will be darker if you use a lighter-fat milk. I think refrigerated carton almond or cashew milk would be a good plant-based milk to use in this for its neutral flavor.
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- 1 large whole garlic head
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 9 cups (about 4 large) thinly sliced sweet onions
- 2 ½ cups (about 2 medium) sliced leeks
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided use
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- Fresh thyme leaves for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Remove papery outer skin from the garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Rub 1 ½ teaspoons oil on garlic head, and wrap it in foil. Bake for 1 hour; let cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves, and peel the skin off of the cloves. Place the garlic cloves in a small dish and set aside.
- While the garlic roasts, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and leek, and cook 30 minutes, stirring often. Add a small amount of water if the onion starts to cook too fast. Add ½ teaspoon salt and thyme. Cook an additional 30 minutes or until onion is dark and golden in color, stirring occasionally, adding a small amount of water if the onion starts to cook too fast.
- Stir the flour into the onion mixture and cook 1 minute. Add wine and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
- Place the roasted garlic in the bowl of a blender, add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cooked onion mixture, and process until smooth. This may need to be done in two batches depending on the size of your blender.
- Pour the blended onion mixture back to the large saucepan, and add milk; simmer 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and ground black pepper if desired.