White onion velouté with crisp garlic and tapenade

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 70 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 white onions (about 300gm), very thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, very thinly sliced widthways
  • 1 potato (about 150gm), very thinly sliced
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • To serve: extra-virgin olive oil and finely chopped chives
  •  
  • Tapenade
  • 50 gm black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  •  
  • Crisp garlic
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp dried fine white breadcrumbs
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
01   For tapenade, process ingredients in a small food processor until smooth, season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
02   Melt butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat until foaming, add onion and leek and cook, covered with a lid and stirring occasionally, until soft and tender but not coloured (20-30 minutes).
03   Meanwhile, combine potato and stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until potato is very tender and falling apart (15-20 minutes).
04   Add onion mixture to potato mixture, season to taste and blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Keep warm. Froth soup with a hand-held blender just before serving.
05   Meanwhile, for crisp garlic, blanch garlic (30 seconds). Drain, then repeat process 3 to 6 times until garlic is tender. Refresh garlic, dry on absorbent paper. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls, roll garlic first in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess in between. Meanwhile, preheat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry garlic, in batches, until golden and crisp (1-2 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper, then divide among serving bowls.
06   Divide soup among bowls, drizzle with a few drops of olive oil and serve hot with chives and quenelles of tapenade.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

DANIEL SOUTHERN, COMME KITCHEN, MELBOURNE

Photography:

SHARYN CAIRNS

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

MATCH WITH A POUILLY-FUMÉ FROM THE LOIRE VALLEY. THESE SAUVIGNON BLANCS HAVE DEPTH AND CHARACTER WITH LOVELY SMOKY, HERBAL NOTES. , suggested by MARTY MCCAIG AND FREDERIC BLEVIN

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