Late In the Season Soup: Caramelized Onion

After a week of hot weather and dining out, we came home to a cold snap craving a homemade dinner.  While meal planning for the week I happened upon a caramelized onion soup that peaked the interest of both my husband and I.  We may be in the minority but we do not love French onion soup; the thick layer of cheese and mushy bread just aren't for us.  This recipe focuses on the part I do like, the hearty and flavorful soup below the mush.  It was an easy, fast soup perfect for a day of unpacking and laundry.  The original recipe comes from the March 2012 Everyday Food, which I cannot find online again (sorry!)

Cast of Characters:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (I used less than this, just eyeball it)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 to 6 large yellow onions, sliced (I used 4)
- 3 cloves of garlic (I added this in)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 springs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sherry/white wine/brandy (I used Chardonnay)
- 4 cups of beef broth
- Coarse salt and pepper
- Toasted bread
- 1 garlic clove
- Parsley, diced for garnish

1) Heat oil and 2 tbsp of butter in a large Dutch oven warmed over medium-high heat until butter begins to melt.  Add onions, garlic, sugar, 2 tsp of salt, thyme and bay leaf and reduce heat to medium-low.

2) Cover the pot and stir every 5 minutes until the onions become jam like (thick and solid) in texture, this can take up to an hour (mine took 45 minutes.)  If the onions start to stick to the bottom stir in a tablespoon of water to the pot.

3) Remove the bay leaf.  Stir in flour, remaining 1 tbsp of butter and the tablespoon of sherry/wine/brandy.  Stir until combined and/or butter is melted.

4) Add broth and increase heat, simmering for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Note: be conservative with the salt since you added salt in step 1!

5) Meanwhile toast your bread and rub with garlic.  The recipe says to place the toasted bread at the bottom of the bowl and pour the soup over it.  As I said above I don't like mushy bread, so I cut the bread into croutons and placed them on top of the soup and garnished with parsley.

We both loved this soup, it's hearty and filling without being overly indulgent, or fattening like its French cousin. The crusty croutons were delicious on top and the parsley was a nice fresh touch.  Hurry up and make it while the weather is still cool!



Mary said...

Great recipe !i love onion soup so much!


Laura Go said...

yum yum yum! Onion soups is so easy to make and is very very delish!

♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Mmm I love a good onion soup recipe!

Gloria said...

Love this healthy spin on one of my fav soups - I'll have to try it soon!

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

I love soups and Cara this is great because it's not a HEAVY soup. Just like we're transitioning into spring so should our FOOD. Excellent recipe and totally doable. Great post!

Pop Champagne said...

this looks delicious! haha I happen to be one of those people who LOVE onions

Shannon said...

ooh, i recently made french onion soup at home!! pretty much the same, and i kept it light with the cheese on top ;)

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