Maui Onion and Asian Pear Soup with Tarragon
The Inventing Room - Denver
The sweet flavor of this rich soup is reminiscent of curry. Tinker with the seasonings at the end to bring everything into balance.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large (1 pound) Maui or other sweet onion, chopped
- 4 medium (1/2 pound) carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks (1/4 pound) celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large (1 1/2 pounds total) Asian pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bunch (about 3 ounces) tarragon, leaves picked off the stem and chopped
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
- 2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- Maple syrup to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepan set over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until deeply caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the Asian pears and cook a couple of minutes longer, until the pear softens. Add the oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, and tarragon, and cook 2 minutes more, until the spices and herbs give off a strong aroma.
Pour in the chicken stock, heavy cream, half-and-half, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, set the cover ajar, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, until the mixture has thickened and the flavors have blended. Purée in a food processor and through a fine sieve into a clean pot. Bring to a boil and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, maple syrup, and lemon juice to taste.
6 to 8 servings