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Onion soup

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An extra-oniony version of the old classic, perfect for cold days.
 
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Step 1: Onions

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I like lots of onions in my soup, particularly since Eric is known for stealing more than his fair share.

For this recipe I've used 6 large onions, halved and sliced. Modify the number to suit your preferences.

Add the onions to a large heavy pot greased with a couple of tablespoons olive oil, butter, canola oil, or some combination thereof. I find adding even a little bit of butter goes a long way in improving taste.

Add a couple of bay leaves and some black pepper, and stir over medium heat.

Add a handful of chopped garlic when the onions have begun to soften.

The goal is to slowly brown the onions to create a nice strong caramelized flavor for the soup. Stir more frequently as they cook to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Deglaze with sherry

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When the onions start turning brown and sticking to the pan it's time to deglaze. I prefer to use sherry, which makes it sweeter, but you can use whatever wine you prefer.

Add approximately 1/2c sherry and stir, scraping the bottom to remove all the tasty bits as the sherry cooks down.

Step 3: Add stock and seasonings

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Add 8-10 cups stock (I used 9c) and bring back to a simmer. If you don't have stock use boullion cubes and water, but take care that it doesn't get too salty.

After at least 10 minutes of simmering, do some taste tests with your broth. Is it as salty, garlicky, peppery, or complex as you like it? If not, now's the time to modify. Add salt, a grated clove or two of garlic, more ground pepper, or maybe a boullion cube to make the flavor denser. Other options: Worchestershire sauce, anchovy paste, balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, chile sauce, or your flavoring agent of choice. Remember, this doesn't have to be a traditional French onion soup- just make sure it tastes good to you.

I chose to add a couple cloves of garlic, more black pepper, and roughly a teaspoon of anchovy paste for extra depth of flavor. Anchovy paste is my new favorite stealth additive.

Continue simmering until the flavors have mingled, then add a handful of chopped parsley for the last 3-5 minutes.

Step 4: Serve

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Serve hot. While it's tasty unadorned, toppings can produce a richer soup.

French onion soup is traditionally served with a large crouton covered in Gruyere cheese toasted under the broiler, but since that doesn't fit into my dietary theory I've skipped it. While it's quite tasty, putting the entire bowl under the broiler is often a pain; you can toast the cheese onto the bread in a toaster oven then float it on your soup.

Sprinkling grated parmesan over the top works well too.
westfw8 years ago
I've found that it's really difficult to get the correct brown-ness and texture to the cooked onions unless you start with a large amount of sliced onions; if you don't have enough onions, they get too brown, or too dried out. You sorta need the onion juice from upper layers of steaming onions soaking into the browning layers of onions underneath. This is especially good to cook when costco is selling big bags of "sweet" onion species, and it freezes pretty well...
Lower your heat, & slap a lid on. The onions will soften, without burning.
ale-8-12 years ago
Thank you canida. My soup came out great. I added onion rings in right after the stock because I felt it needed more than the ones I started with. They gave it a bit of crunch and overall much more satisfaction than one of those canned soups.
CorgisRule6 years ago
I love this! I tend to thicken mine up a wee bit -- or just add hella lot of onions. Then I toast a bagel, put it in a bowl with some strong sliced cheese, then pour the soup over top of that. Makes the soup more filling (and maybe I actually have a little for the next day -- the garlic/ onion just get stronger the longer it is in the fridge. Mmmmm.)
Aeshir8 years ago
I friggin love the garlic. Everybody in my family's a garlic freak.
well i know your not a vampire....
karlalopez8 years ago
it's pretty warm here, but i think i'm goin to do it tonight anyway :)
Crash21088 years ago
That was good. I am not usually the one to make soup for 2 hours just to have the 5 minutes of eating it.. Though I did go all out and get the hard stinky cheese and french bread. So at least I can say now I know how to make onion soup.
canida (author)  Crash21088 years ago
This took you two hours? Now I understand why you think I spend all my time cooking.
It seemed like it. Over an hour at least. It was a while ago now so I forget.
spinach_dip8 years ago
I concur, don't shy away from anchovy paste because you hate anchovies. A little dab can add complex tasty flavor that does not scream "Briny Fish!". In fact, it will not taste fishy at all. Few people know that L&P Worcestershire contains anchovies, (dissolved bones and all.) Looks good!
Crash21088 years ago
Looks good. I shall try.