soup a l'oignon

Well friends, it has been quite some time! I've had to take a quasi-hiatus when it comes to cooking - sadly, a broken foot has put me out of commission for most things.  No running around to my markets as per usual (I can't even carry anything.), no work, no play! Who knew a broken foot would be such a Debbie Downer.  Woe is me.  Fortunately, I have a really cool storm trooper looking boot, and I get to hit people with crutches.  Either way, I've been able to do SOME cooking, but definitely not my usual full blown craziness - standard go to classics in the SST kitchen.  I HAVE created a few sous chefs in the meantime though, which is nice! Now, all I have to do is teach them how to clean properly.  I'll take what I can get!

The following recipe is SO simple it almost hurts my head thinking about it.  It's definitely a go-to winter time recipe, and everyone always raves about it - even though it basically consists of three ingredients.  Onion soup my friends.  You can make it French Onion style and toss in some croutons and melt a ton of cheese on top, or just have it as is - it's that good! I'd say the most difficult part of this recipe is cutting up the onions.  I was crying more than my mom after she watches Marley & Me.  Sidebar: do you know why they make you cry? When you cut an onion, it creates a gas that wafts up to your eyes, and creates SULFURIC ACID.  In your eyes. That is terrifying. So, that being said - help yourselves out by putting the onions in the fridge to minimize the crying situation! Or wear goggles.  Or set up a fan.  Whatever floats your boat.  I still say that chilled onions and fast-as-lightning cutting is the best option though!

Onion Soup
Serves 6-8
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 lbs sweet onions, thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
1 t salt
3 T all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade

In a large stock pot, melt the butter with the oil over low heat.  When the butter has melted, stir in the onions and salt, coating the slices with the butter/oil mixture.  Keep these bad boys cooking for about 45 minutes (or longer if you have time!), stirring occasionally, until the onions are a rich golden brown and essentially "melted".  The longer and lower you cook, the better!

Sprinkle the flour over the onions, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the flour flavor has cooked out.  Add the stock to the onions and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

 When ready, taste for seasoning and enjoy! I like to finish mine with grated Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper - you can obviously make some croutons to go with it as well! In the past, I've thinly sliced a baguette on the bias, fried the slices in olive oil, and plopped them face down in some grated Parmesan for a good treat to float atop the soup.  The options are endless, but the soup itself is was really steals the show!

The onion flavor is deep and rich, due to the extended cooking period, and is only accentuated by the beef stock.  Yum! You can serve this as a small appetizer in espresso cups/tiny bowls, or have it as a main event. You won't be disappointed!


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