BEAST's Best French Onion Soup

Perfect for the hot days ahead, this classic dish, courtesy of Chef Naomi Pomeroy, is a must-order at Portland's hot spot BEAST.

Beast's Spring French Onion Soup

½ teaspoon young garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons goat butter (available at specialty
     food markets, or substitute sweet cream butter)
8 medium-sized spring onions (look for onions about the 
     size of a baseball, with the greens still attached if
     possible), sliced thin, including pale green parts
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 quarts light duck stock (stock recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon white verjus
¼ loaf artisanal bread sliced ¼-inch thin, lightly buttered.
¼ cup chèvre
1 tablespoon minced chives
Chive blossoms, for garnish

Lightly sauté young garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven or small stock pot, melt the goat butter over medium heat. Add the spring onions and sweat until translucent and tender, but not falling apart. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add duck stock to desired thickness. Add the verjus.

Lightly toast the bread, set aside to cool. Mix the chèvre with the chives and young garlic. Spread on the toasted bread points.

When ready to serve, ladle the soup into oven-proof soup bowls or cups and top each with a goat cheese toast. Heat in the oven (on high) or under a broiler until cheese is melted. Garnish with chive blossoms. Serves 4-6

Duck Veal Stock

5 pounds duck bones, roasted to dark golden brown
5 pounds veal bones, roasted to dark golden brown
6 large yellow onions
4 carrots peeled
4 celery stalks
1 ounce thyme
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, cut in half
3 parsley stems
Salt, to season

Place bones, vegetables and herbs in an 8-inch-deep restaurant-quality hotel pan. Cover generously with water, cover with parchment and then aluminum foil. Set oven to 250°F and cook for 8-10 hours. Strain and season with salt. Yields about 8 quarts of stock.

Wine Recommendation

Sommelier David Rounds recommends Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Collection Blanc “Général de la Révolution: Jean-Charles Abbatucci” to pair with the French onion soup. “Garrigue, blossoms of cooking herbs, marzipan, Moroccan preserved lemon, and canary melon flavors are a perfect foil to the delicate richness of the spring onion soup,” says Rounds.

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