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Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup

It feels like Indian summer in Park City. We’re enjoying very cool nights with daytime temperatures reaching into the high 70’s. Each morning there’s a few more hints of red oak in the green hills that never turned brown this summer. The only not-still-green are the grasses, and the seeds from those drying grasses are driving anyone with allergies to wishing for early snow. And those lovely yellow flowers of the desert sage—they aren’t so forgiving to the watery eye and runny nose crowd either.

I think I got hit with a double whammy this week. I have all the symptoms of these allergies and a cold besides. Makes me want onion soup for dinner. That’s why this recipe for caramelized onion and chickpea soup.

Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup

Our Ranui Gardens CSA box has included onions the last 4 or 5 weeks. The first ones came with stalks intact. I braided them together and hung them in a holding pattern above the kitchen sink. They say onions are good feng shui, so I’m hoping they’ll protect this kitchen. And maybe, even if a bunch of our onions get caramelized into soup, there will still be a few onions waiting when our weekly CSA boxes cease for the season.

Slicing this many onions can a tearful job. If you have a Cuisinart—use the slicing disc and you will be that much closer to soup for dinner, with time for a shot of tequila.

About the tequila: I use 100% agave to deglaze the onions because that’s in our liquor cabinet and brandy is not. You won’t find miso in a classic onion soup either, though the tequila and the miso each add a subtle note.

caramelized onions for Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup

 onions for Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup

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5 from 1 vote
Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup
Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Soup
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil , or butter or a combination of the 2
  • 4 large onions , thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves , sliced
  • 3 tablespoons 100% agave tequila añejo or brandy
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • Toasted baguette slices with basil pesto
  1. Heat the oil and/or butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. Stir in the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and turning brown. This will take time—at least 45 minutes. If the onions start to brown too quickly, turn down the heat; don’t hurry their caramelization. Stir in the garlic in the last 10 minutes, after you see some hints of brown onion.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the tequila, stirring it around. Transfer to a saucepan or small soup pot. Add the vegetable stock, the chickpeas and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
  3. While the soup is cooking, toast some slices of baguette and slather them with basil pesto. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl smooth the miso paste with water. Just before serving, fish out the bay leaves and stir the miso into the soup. Season with salt, if needed, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, slipping a few pesto croutons into each bowl.

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