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Autumn Cream of Onion Soup with Brandy and Cider
By Chef Crescent Dragonwagon

Autumn Cream of Onion Soup with Brandy and Cider

2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Corn or Peanut Oil
4 large Onion very thinly sliced
2 Leeks white part and 1 inch green, split open lengthwise, washed well, and thinly sliced
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Cider (fresh) cooked down to ¼ cup
¼ cup Brandy (Cognac)
2 medium Organic Russet Potato peeled and diced (or substitute 5-6 Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes)
1 bulb Garlic cloves separated and peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 teaspoons Thyme fresh or dried (1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon Miso (light) or soy bean paste
1½ cups Crème Fraîche (see recipe below)
Nutmeg (fresh ground) to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup Heavy Cream (whipping)
Scallions finely chopped for garnish

Crème Fraîche
1 cup Heavy Cream (whipping)
2 tablespoons Buttermilk (cultured)

In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and leeks and sauté slowly until quite limp, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, bring the stock, cider, brandy, potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme to a boil in a heavy soup pot. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer, covered, until the potatoes are quite soft, about 30 minutes. Drain well, returning the stock to the pot. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Transfer mixture to a food processor, add the miso and creme fraiche, and puree. Stir the sautéed onions and the puree into the stock. Season with nutmeg, salt and plenty of pepper.

To finish the soup, heat it almost to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cream and stir it into the soup. The soup will thicken almost immediately and have a clear, glossy finish.

Serve very hot, in small cups, garnished with chopped scallions.

Crème Fraîche
In a quart glass jar with a tight fitting lid combine the cream and buttermilk. Shake the cream and buttermilk hard for about 30 seconds to combine.

Let stand in a warm place or in a turned off oven with the pilot light on. Leave until thickened but still a little liquidy, about 12 hours. It sets up as it chills.

It may be used right away, but is best after "aging" overnight in the refrigerator.