blooming onion soup


Don't you just hate it when it seems that all your effort in the garden was for nothing? I bought a package of chives seeds, a fairly small onion relative with pretty purple blooms. What came up was these very tall things that are probably some kind of bunching onion. I let my 'chives' go to bloom in the hope of seeing those pretty flowers. Instead I ended up with bunching onions that were way too old to be used as green onions.

Rather than throwing them away, I made onion soup, but one that is not at all like the better-known French Onion Soup. Depending on your personal palate, you may find that either the onions or the mustard dominate in this soup. Marielos took a sip—bwerk, onions!—while I didn't taste the onions at all, only the mustard.


  1. Blooming onions smell and taste much stronger than younger plants. I can cut large onions without a problem, but these make me cry! The long soaking and cooking times help to reduce the penetrating onion smell and taste. Soak the onions 30 minutes or more before using and wash thoroughly.
  2. Blooming onions have a rigid stem full of woody fibers. Running these through a blender - even for a long time - does not make it any more pleasant to eat those fibers. Strain and filter the soup. Use a food mill first and a fine strainer or a filter after that. See Fennel Soup recipe for more details.



This is what you need for # servings:

  • Blooming (bunching) onions, about 1 lb. (Pic2)
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. of your favorite mustard
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock
  • S&P
  • optional:
    • 1 lb. fresh tomatillos
      or 1 pint of canned tomatillos
Pic1: blooming onion soup



Pic2: blooming onions
Pic3: load the pot

Removing woody fibers that can hurt you:

Pic4: woody fibers, don't eat them
Pic5: strain AND filter before you drink this

Decorative onions


Pic6: blooming onions
Pic3: onion flowers
Pic4: it's looking at you