walla walla sweet onion soup and herb farmers five cheddar biscuits

June 24, 2013 § 42 Comments

I am always delighted when mid June rolls around and I stumble upon the first harvest of Walla Walla Sweet Onions.  Walla Walla is a county in southeastern Washington and is known for it’s sweet onions.  These are a very pleasant mild onion which easily can be eaten raw on salads and sandwiches.

A cool rainy day always triggers my soup craving so I set out to make a light soup.  I was toying with the idea of french onion soup when I spotted the Walla Walla Sweet Onions.   I purchased four sweet onions, the most ripe juicy strawberries I have ever tasted and headed home.

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I have a little cook book titled “Fresh” by John Bishop which features wonderful seasonal recipes made with local foods (Pacific Northwest).  I found today’s soup recipe along with an herbed cheddar cheese biscuits.  I struggle as a baker.  I can usually bake a good simple quick bread, but if I have to knead or rise the dough, I fail.  The recipe specifically said to “turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times”.  I figured, “how can I fail?”.

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biscuits served with butter and sun dried tomato pesto

The biscuits would have made my mom proud.  The soup was naturally sweet, creamy and keeping the spices at a minimum allowed the flavor of the onions to come through.  While the soup is simmering, prepare the biscuits.

h e r b e d   c h e d d a r   c h e e s e   b i s c u i t s

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add butter and work into the flour mixture with your fingers until the dough has the consistency of cornmeal.  Stir in thyme and rosemary.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Place cheese, yogurt and milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Pour the yogurt mixture into the well and combine lightly until the dough forms a ball.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 inch.  Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 biscuits. Arrange biscuits 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake in the top third of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

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s w e e t   o n i o n   s o u p

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups sweet onions, thinly sliced and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh spring onions, sliced

Melt butter in a stockpot on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the lid, stir in flour and cook for 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pot with wine.

Add stock, salt, pepper and increase heat to medium high.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Stir in cream and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Ladle soup into warm bowls and sprinkle with freshly sliced spring onions.

Serves 4

buon appetite.

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