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Sweet Onion Soup

INGREDIENTS:2 lbs. sweet onions, quartered
12 oz. yellow onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp. canola oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper, ground
3 oz. carrots, diced
2 oz. celery, diced
2 oz. shallots, thinly sliced
½ pint heavy cream
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 oz. butter, cubed
to taste, salt and pepper
as needed for garnish, herbed croutons
as needed for garnish, grated fresh Parmesan cheese DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss onions and garlic with oil, salt and pepper, making sure the pieces are well-coated. Place in a single layer in pan so bottom of pan is not exposed. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to allow for even cooking. Add carrots, celery and shallot. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Add cream and stir to coat ingredients. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add broth. Bring to a boil on stovetop and simmer for 10 minutes.

Blend soup well with an immersion blender, adding butter after a smooth pureé is attained. For a finer, silkier soup, pass pureé through a fine-meshed strainer. Salt and pepper soup to taste. Adjust soup consistency, if necessary, with additional broth. Serve hot, accompanied by herbed croutons and/or grated fresh Parmesan cheese. SERVINGS:2 quarts, 6-8 servingsFrom:Executive Chef Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Chicago