I love soup. It’s warm, it’s filling, it’s delicious, and every culture has their own take on what you can do with a bowl and a spoon.
As you can imagine, my Seamless soup delivery man and I are very close. We even sing each other Christmas carols in December as he walks the three flights up to my apartment.
Frankly, though, soup in the summer is just inappropriate.
But Beth, you say, there’s gazpacho! There’s vichyssoise!
Well, gazpacho is not a soup. Gazpacho is a bloody mary without the vodka.
Vichyssoise? Don’t lie to me and tell me that thick ass puree of potatoes, leeks, cream and chicken stock wouldn’t taste a gazpachillion times better hot.
Most recently, I was craving a bowl of hot and bubbly cold-weather soup but I simply couldn’t muster a crock of French Onion in 100% humidity. Forced to work with the elements (i.e. on a hot summer day when the desire to move and/or make anything lengthy in the kitchen is minimal), my Summer Onion Soup was born.
It is the yin to winter’s cheesy and rich French Onion yang. With three different types of seasonal onion/garlic-related vegetables, plus some chicken, zucchini and potato to round out the dish, this soup is bright, light and flavorful and totally appropriate for summer. It’s like the white jeans of soup.
Summer Onion Soup
- 1 small, whole Chicken
- 16 oz. unsalted Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 1 bunch fresh Scallions, cleaned and sliced into 3-4″ long pieces
- 5 sprigs Thyme
- 1 head fresh Garlic, cloves separated and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Garlic Scapes, ends removed and sliced into 3-4″ long pieces
- 5 small Potatoes with a fancy name, quartered (I prefer Augusta potatoes because Augustus was the heir to Caesar and I love Caesar salad. I mean, who doesn’t? And August is my birth month so it works in so many ways. Just make sure the reason you choose your potato has a great story behind it – it’ll make the soup taste better.)
- 2 medium Green Zucchini, cut into 2-3″ chunks
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Maldon Salt
- Generously season the chicken on all sides with salt. Coat the bottom a large dutch oven or soup pot with a thin layer of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Place chicken in the pot breast-side-up and cook until the bottom is golden brown, around 3-5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and pour in stock. Add enough water to the pot so the chicken is almost covered (you want the top 1/8th exposed but that seemed a little anal to state given my naturally lackadaisical demeanor. Important to note that this soup was also invented on a day where I attempted to minimize dishes and knife work – hence, the whole chicken).
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot except the zucchini. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- Remove the chicken and thyme sprigs from the pot. Discard thyme and place the chicken on a cutting board. Turn off the heat, add the zucchini to the pot and put the cover back on.
- Depending on how hungry you are, at this point you can either brave the scalding hot chicken and start tearing the meat off with your mighty heat resistant talons you call hands, or you can stick the chicken in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes until that bird has cooled the eff down. Either way, pick the meat off the bird, tearing or cutting the meat into large pieces (around 3″ long) and placing back in the pot.
- Stir the soup around a bit so the chicken can get reacquainted with its old friends and taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary. Serve HOT.