20 January 2013

The Onion Obsession

Peel by peel
Tear by tear
The onion remains
To me so dear

Sumptuous soups
The onion remains

Dear friends

       I love the onion. In my so-called root cellar I have bags and bags of onions and believe it or not, I eat them all by the time my new crop arrives in mid summer. They are the foundation for most of my recipes and I am always finding new ways of using them. One would think that with this many onions on hand that Onion Soup would be a staple in my home. I must admit, however, I have always avoided making this soup. Not because I dislike it, but only because I never quite made it well enough for me and I am not the biggest fan of beef broth.

       The other day though I felt compelled to experiment again after reading a wonderful article on caramelized onions by Maryellen Driscoll in the Fine Cooking magazine. Her affection for this vegetable equaled mine and we agreed that cooking the onions on low heat very slowly resulted in a sweet yet savory taste. She inspired me when she said that when you think the onions are done, have patience and wait a bit longer. Being inspired, I borrowed some of her ideas and created this amazingly tasty soup.


Saute in a heavy duty pot about four to five medium yellow onions in a bit of olive oil ( about 1/4 cup). Put these on low heat and stir every so often for about an hour. You can read a book or do some yoga stretches but do not forget them. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the them about half way through. When the onions are caramelized Maryellen suggests adding about 1/2 cup pale ale but I added a full cup. Bring this to a boil for about 2 minutes. I then added about 31/2 cups vegetable broth. Let this all simmer gently for another 10 minutes and it is complete. I did follow Maryellen advise and used a nice blue cheese melted on top of a slice of sourdough bread. I garnished with chopped chives. That's it. Simple and oh so good. 

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