Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Harry Potter and the Stuff of Dreams

In July, 2007 the entire world was gripped in Potter-mania. Not only was the final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, due out, it was also the month the 5th movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released. For any Potter fan it was pure Potter bliss.

I was caught up in it as well; hard to miss with seven children and all the older ones being HP fans at that point. My editor at Disney and I were discussing it all in a phone call one afternoon and the idea to come up with my own versions of Harry Potter themed foods and post about them hit us.

I was more than willing and as I have a habit of looking for food references in everything I read, I already had several ideas. I chose the usual suspects that everyone knows about and two others that weren't so well-known. Writing up the posts was very fun and something I didn't think I'd get the chance to do, so I threw myself into it and came up with several posts and recipes. Being asked to do something like that was truly a dream come true for a recipe developer. The posts, sadly, have had to be removed from for legal reasons, but I was given permission to share the recipes here.

The first I'll share is the recipe for onion soup served by Molly Weasley in the middle of the night when Dumbledore drops Harry off at the Burrow in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

"She tapped the pot again; it rose into the air, flew toward Harry, and tipped over; Mrs.Weasley slid a bowl nearly beneath it just in lime to catch the stream of thick, steaming onion soup.

"Bread, dear." "Thanks, Mrs. Weasley." She waved her wand over her shoulder; a loaf of bread and a knife soared gracefully onto the table; as the loaf sliced itself and the soup pot dropped back onto the stove, Mrs. Weasley sat down opposite him."

English onion soup is not French onion soup, though it can be similar. It may be served with the typical crouton and melted cheese on top, or, as Molly Weasley likely did, without. I'm assuming this because directly after pouring Harry's soup, she offered him bread, and the thickness of the soup being mentioned also led me to believe it is more a creamy onion soup than the standard beef-stock-based type.

I also drew from the fact that the Weasley's are quite poor. Most creamy English versions of onion soup contain an equal mixture of Stilton and cheddar cheeses. The Weasley's would most likely not be using the more expensive Stilton, so I made this recipe with cheddar only. They also had a large garden and would have had onions growing of various types. Try to use as many varieties as possible for the best flavor.

Harry Potter-Inspired Onion Soup
Yield: 4-6 servings
Printable Recipe


3 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly
2 large leeks, white only - cleaned well and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
6 cups beef, vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup half and half
4 oz. finely shredded white cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or so of oil.
Add onions and leeks and cook until wilted and just beginning to brown.
Add garlic, stock and bay leaf. Simmer until onions are softened, about 30 minutes.
Add half and half and thicken well with a *beurre manie.
Stir in shredded cheese just until melted, remove bay leaf and serve.
Season with salt and pepper once the soup is thickened to your liking.

*Note- Beurre Manie is French for "kneaded butter". It consists of equal parts four to butter. Combine flour and butter and knead until well combined. Add a small amount at a time to a simmering liquid and whisk until smooth. Add more as needed.

Harry Potter books and movie references are the intellectual property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. I am not nor will be compensated in any way for this post.


Emily Malloy said...

Stinkin' cute, Anne!

kat said...

Funny when the new movie came out I was thinking of how to do some of the food & drink too!