How To Make Creamy Roasted Vidalia Onion Soup

Creamy onion soup is perfect for the fall—for warming bellies and using the last of the season's Vidalia onions.
  • 2 large Vidalia onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 4 oz. flour
  • 1 ½ qts. chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt

Creamy onion soup is perfect for the fall, says chef Kevin Gillespie, of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta.

“Because this one has Vidalia onions, we use the last of the season and serve it in the late summer into the onset of fall,” he says.

Vidalia are ideal for this soup, he adds. “The technique we use for roasting them is to increase the sugar content. What better way than by starting with an onion that’s naturally sweet? And Vidalia onions lack a lot of the sulfur content that you get with many onion varieties.”

Gillespie likes to add corn to the soup to add some natural starch and a velvety smooth texture. “It would separate without the corn,” he explains.

But he cautions not to overcook the corn, because it will take on a metallic flavor. If you don’t have fresh corn, frozen works, but he says he’d avoid canned.

If you can’t find corn at all, substitute a peeled and very finely diced Russet potato, which would add both sugar and starch, Gillespie says.

Adding the lemon juice just before the soup is served ensures it doesn’t seem too heavy.

  1. Wrap onions in foil and roast in a 350°F oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Remove foil and squeeze onion out of its jacket. Reserve.
  2. Heat butter in a heavy bottom Dutch oven. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic to roux mixture and allow to sweat for 30 seconds.
  3. Add stock, cream, and fresh corn. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes at a simmer.
  4. Remove from heat and add onions and lemon juice and puree in a high speed blender until completely smooth.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of the Vidalia Onion Committee

Kevin Gillespie is executive chef of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta. He’s also working on two cookbooks with best-selling cookbook author David Joachim. The first book, Fire in My Belly, will be released in October 2012; the second will be released in the fall of 2014. An Atlanta native, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta. He then went on to hold different positions at several well-known Atlanta restaurants including chef de partie at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton and sous chef at Two Urban Licks. In 2006, he headed to Portland, Oregon, where he worked as executive sous chef at Fife Restaurant. In the summer of 2008 he became the new executive chef at Woodfire Grill.

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