31 October, 2008

October recipe: Onion soup

Hot soup is a cheering meal when the clocks have changed and the weather starts to turn cold, and onion soup topped with crunchy bread and bubbling melted cheese is especially comforting on a cold, dark day. There are as many variations as there are cooks. Here’s mine. Serves 2 as a main meal, or 4 as a first course.

Onion soup

12 oz (approx 350 g) onions
Lard for frying
1.5 tsp (1.5 x 5 ml spoon) demerara sugar
2 tsp (2 x 5 ml spoon) dark soy sauce
1 pint stock
2 thick slices of bread, toasted
2 oz (approx 50 g) cheese, e.g. Cheddar or Gruyere

Peel the onions and cut into thin slices (approx 1/4 cm or 1/8 inch).
Heat the lard (or you can use cooking oil) in a medium-sized saucepan.
Add the onions and sugar and fry over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. The sugar will caramelise to a nice golden brown coating on the onions. Be careful not to let it stick and burn, especially towards the end.
Add the stock and soy sauce, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Put a lid on the pan and simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the onions are soft and starting to disintegrate.
Grate or thinly slice the cheese.
Divide the soup between two heatproof bowls.
Float a slice of toasted bread on top of each bowl of soup, and top with the sliced or grated cheese.
Grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling (this is why you have to use heatproof soup bowls).
Serve with fresh bread.


Gabriele Campbell said...

Onion soup is YUMMY. :)

Carla said...

Gabriele - indeed it is.

Meghan said...

OMG I LOOOOOOOOOOOVEEE onion soup! Thanks for the recipe!!

Kathryn Warner said...

Ooooh, scrummy, and just the kind of comfort food I need at this time of year!

Anonymous said...

You are so right about the variations. I use white wine and Dijon mustard in my recipe; I have seen other recipes that call for red wine, brandy and even mushrooms.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Excellent looking recipe Carla,
I shall have to try it out. Looking at the rain against my darkened window, you are so right about the weather just now!

Jules Frusher said...

Ooh, yum, especially as it's so cold and miserable outside. This is one recipe that I'm definitely going to try. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Constance Brewer said...

Except for the soy sauce, it's almost the same way I make my onion soup. I guess some things don't need improving on. *g* Thanks, Carla, now I have to run off and see if I have all the ingredients in the pantry...

Carla said...

Alianore, Meghan, Elizabeth - thanks.

Erik - hello and welcome. Mushrooms is a variation I haven't seen before!

Lady D - I was thinking of you when I posted it; seem to remember you said you liked onions :-)

Constance - I have no idea where the soy sauce came from; maybe one of those serendipitous things where you pick the wrong bottle out of the cupboard and discover it works quite well after all!