Onion Soup without the French
French Onion Soup is my favorite whenever I go to a restaurant. But when making it at home, I find it's too fiddly to make it with the soup-soaked bread and melted cheese... and given that onions are great for those with a cold, flu, and fever, this recipe was developed as a means to a) to help mop up a cold real quick, and b) to be 'relatively' fast and fuss-free (the recipe takes about an hour and a half to make, but is definitely worth it), and c) put you to sleep - onions tend to do that. There are a world of benefits to making this soup often - not only is it anti-bacterial and helps immunity by protecting against infections, onion soup can also avert anemia by boosting the strength and health of the blood cells because of the high iron content. If you can tolerate peeling and finely chopping a kilo and a half of onions, this is definitely a win-win recipe for you - but just remember that even onion-induced weeping is good for you.
• 1 to 1.5 kilos onions, preferably yellow, peeled and sliced into half-moons.
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 pinch ground pepper
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 6 cups broth of your choice (heated)
• 3 tablespoons flour
• Melt the butter with the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
• Once the butter and oil start to bubble, add the onion slices, and toss with wooden spoon to coat.
• Cover the pan and leave onions to simmer and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
• Remove the lid. Onions should be wilted by now. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar (sugar helps the onions caramelize)
• turn up heat to medium and leave the onions uncovered to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should start turning a deep brown color - if you feel they're browning too quickly or sticking to the pan, turn the heat down a notch. The browning is meant to come through slow cooking and 'caramelization', rather than burning.
• Once the onions are deep brown in color, add the flour and stir for about a minute.
• Slowly start adding your broth, raising the heat and bringing it to a boil.
• Cover and reduce heat, leaving to simmer for at least 30 minutes
• Taste and add any extra seasonings if needed
• Blitz with a hand blender until half-creamy
Options: • If you really REALLY want to keep the french side of this soup, you can take a little extra time to toast 6 to 8 slices of baguette. Divide your soup between oven-safe bowls, and top each with a slice of baguette, and sprinkle grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese on top in a thick layer. Bake the bowls in the oven for about 20 minutes, and then turn on the broiler, allowing the cheese to brown. And viola!