Chef Dina

Now available for Bay Area full service catering in conjunction with "A Fork Full of Earth" organic catering, intimate dinner parties and weekly meal preparation.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Onion soup for Cold Summer nights

I would have to agree with Frank Sinatra's tramp, whoever she is, the one who "hates California, it's cold and it's damp..."

I thought I was out of soup season and into salad season, but apparently not. Summer does not exist in the middle of the Bay. Oh well, a good excuse to make onion soup! My garden is poppin' with onions and leeks- I'd say I have more than I know what to do with...except I know exactly what I am going to do :)

Classic onion soup
half to 3/4 a pot full of onions, sliced. don't skimp! They cook down to nuthin'!
2 T butter
a healthy pour of olive oil
Salt- a pinch with all 5 fingers
1 tsp brown sugar (optional, to help the onions brown)
1/4 c flour
1 qt Chicken stock
1 qt Beef stock
Thyme, parsley, bay leaf bouquet
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
a dash of Worcestershire
fresh ground pepper
a healthy splash or good brandy or cognac

Fill the pot with the sliced onions, butter, olive oil and salt. Let them cook over a very low heat for a very long time- I cook them for about an hour. You can speed this process up and turn up the heat a bit, but I think the results are
richer with slow cooking.
You can also add a little sugar to help them along.

Stir in the flour once the onions are caramelized. Stir in the hot stocks. Add the worchestershire, wine and herb bouquet and simmer for about 45 minutes. I used sherry vinegar this time around, I don't recommend it- too tart.

Season to taste, and add the brandy or cognac last. I will also be garnishing this with a baked baguette slice heavily coated with gruyere and parmesan!

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