Monday, October 11, 2010

Three Lily Soup


A very long time ago, I worked next door to a gourmet food shop in Darien, CT, called the Good Food Store. Those of you from these parts will remember it, as it was quite popular. They had the best soups & I often bought my lunch from them. I remember one day seeing "three lily soup" on the menu & wondering what on earth it was. The salesperson explained to me that it was an onion soup, made with shallots & garlic...all vegetables from the lily family. I had to try it & remember that it was delicious.
Since then, I have had that soup in the back of my mind...thinking someday I would find a recipe for it. I had looked several times, on the internet, but nothing. Then, recently, I tried looking for Four Lily Soup & found it! I discovered that Gourmet magazine has published more than one variation over the years...nothing that's published officially online. But, I found a few different methods on message boards & such.
So, I took what I read about them & came up with my own version. The names vary as well...anything from Three, Four, or Five Lily, depending on what's used. I used red onion, sweet onion, shallots & garlic. But, leeks, or even chives, are also options.
I also added a bit of potato, to thicken the soup up a bit...also, to mellow out the flavors.

To begin, you'll need 1/2 of a red onion, 1 {large} sweet onion, 10 ounces of shallots & 5 cloves of garlic.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the onions into wedges & add them to a mixing bowl. Peel & coarsely chop the shallots & add them in.

Along with the garlic {peeled & left whole}. I used more in the photo above, as my garlic cloves were very small.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl. Season generously with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper & toss well. Transfer to a baking sheet, arrange in a single layer & roast for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Toss occasionally.

Meanwhile, peel & coarsely chop 1 large Yukon Gold potato & chop 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a medium stockpot. Add the potato & thyme...along with 3 cups of chicken stock {preferably homemade}. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, reduce the heat & simmer for 20 minutes,

or until all the vegetables are tender. Transfer to a food processor & puree the soup, in batches, if necessary.

Pour back into the stockpot, stir in a 1/4 cup of half and half & check for seasoning. Add a bit of salt & freshly ground pepper, if needed. Return the pot to the stove & heat the soup back up.

Serve hot, garnished with a pinch of thyme {if desired}.

Three Lily Soup

Adapted {quite generously} from Gourmet magazine, March 2003
Serves 4, as a main course


1/2 medium red onion, sliced into wedges
1 large sweet onion, sliced into wedges
10 ounces shallots, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & left whole
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup half & half
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the onions, shallots & garlic with the olive oil in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle generously with some kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer & roast for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown, tossing occasionally.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a medium stockpot & add in the chicken stock, chopped potato & thyme. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, reduce the heat & simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor & puree the soup, in batches, if necessary. Pour back into the stockpot, stir in the half and half & check for seasoning. Add a bit of salt & freshly ground pepper, if needed. Return the pot to the stove & heat the soup back up. Serve hot, garnished with a pinch of thyme {if desired}.
Click here for the printable recipe.

19 comments:

Rebecca said...

Wow! I have a feeling that I would love this soup! I've never heard of it before :)

Joanne said...

I definitely never knew that all of these were part of the lily family. You learn something new every day! Well, they sound delicious paired together. And look simply gorgeous!

Carla said...

This sounds delicious. Much like an onion soup only creamy; and with the addtion of potatoes YUM!

Shannon Mac said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to make this for a fall dinner ... whenever fall arrives here in Florida!

amanda@seegirlcook said...

oh my goodness, delicious! i'm loving this soup weather, i must try this one out.:)

Susanna Carrillo said...

hey...I worked at the Complete kitchen...a long time ago. Piper says thank you for the birthday wishes :)

Anonymous said...

I made this as soon as I saw it and it was fantastic- I have shared it with my FB friends. Excellent recipe- elegant, simple and delicious. I made it alongside the Roasted Brussels Sprouts & pecans recipe- a great combo. Highly recommend it- can't wait to make it again.

LivingFood101 said...

This recipe looks soooo delicious, especially on a cold day!

Anonymous said...

sounds good, pass it though a chinois and youve got a winner!

SardonicHistrionic said...

My mouth is watering just looking at this... onions, garlic, and shallots - it's like the perfect trifecta

Silvertongue62 said...

Restaurant quality the easy way. I love it

Anonymous said...

I hate to be "that guy" but all of those crops are part of the Allium family, which are characterized by their pungent sulfurous compounds, not the Lily family. Lilies are from the Liliaceae family, most members of which are not edible.

Sincerely,
A professional horticulturist

kate said...

A professional horticulturist-

Even better! I love alliums! Although, I don't think "Three Allium Soup" would sound quite right :)

Anyway, yes, I was aware that they were part of the Allium Family, but was under the impression that Allium was part of the Liliaceae family.
Here's some info I have on the subject...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lily+family

My sister is a professional horticulturist as well & is a head grower at this magnificent place:
http://www.theparsleythief.com/2009/04/peoria-gardens.html

Maybe she will weigh in on the subject?

Regardless, thank you for your comment & for visiting my blog :) I am by no means a master gardener, horticulturist, or botanist. But, I always like to learn new things on the subject!

LMBrown said...

Hi Sis. I can see why there is some confusion..., but you are right. Allium is a Genus in the Liliaceae family.
And there are more edible lilies that the Alliums. For example, Camas bulbs (Camassia quamash) were eaten by Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and are said to have contributed to the survival of some members of the of Lewis and Clark expedition.
They are native here in Oregon and one of my favorite wildflowers.
Love ya and keep up on the great blog!
Lauren

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I bet that's really good for you too. Alliums are natural defenses against colds and flu.~~Dee

Lucy@acookandherbooks said...

Lovely soup and it sounds delicious!

Lightfoot said...

This Soup is AWESOME! SO Delicious! www.whatscookinondietz.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I just got a new blender as well as a cold! So after months of craving this soup, I made it! Delicious! I used rosemary instead of thyme and added some ginger to it! Thank you for this recipe! :3

Anonymous said...

I have made this soup for may family for a while now always a hit!

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