Sunday, August 21, 2011

Onion Soup

So apparently onion soup was the biggest thing to make for Tisha Bav... Facebook was exploding with statuses about having onion soup for break-the-fast, or pre-fast. So when boredom & hunger really struck in the late afternoon of the fast, I decided I really wanted ANY soup (because soup is my guilty pleasure) for breaking the fast. However, I barely had any produce but I did have 3 medium sized onions. So I caved, & ventured into the delicious world of onion soup, making it for the first time & it was an absolute success! Onion soup was never something I ordered at restaurants, always thought of it as extremely heavy with all that cheese on top, I tried to control that a little. It's really easy, & this is my spin..

Onion Soup
-2 tbsp. Earth Balance + olive oil
-3 medium sized onions, cut in slices
-1.5 tbsp. sugar
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/3 cup flour
-Salt & pepper
-8 cups water (or mixture of water & low sodium vegetable broth)
-Dry roux (see below)

-In a pot, heat 2 tbsp. Earth Balance, & a few drizzles of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions & saute, adding a little more olive oil if it gets too dry. Add some salt, pepper, and just a dash of nutmeg. Saute a few minutes, then sprinkle in the sugar. Let saute until the onions get very soft, & caramelized. Add the flour to the onions, I used a little less than 1/3 cup. Mix well. Add the garlic.  I let the onions saute, lowering the heat to medium/low for about 20 minutes. If they start to stick to the bottom or seem too dry after adding the flour, start adding the water/broth. I used 2 cups of broth and the rest water.
-Add 2-4 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, you can always season later on after you taste it versus over-seasoning now.
-Bring the soup to a boil, & then let simmer for at least a half hour. Mine simmered for over an hour, because I had nothing else to do! -the longer the better, letting all the flavors meld together.
-To thicken the soup, make a dry roux by taking a heaping tbsp. of Earth Balance & around 1-2 tbsp. cornstarch (or flour if you don't have), incorporating well by mashing with a fork until it becomes like a paste. Add it to the soup, & stir in well. Alternatively, you can just dissolve the cornstarch in a little warm water (you can even use some of the liquid from the soup) to form a paste, getting rid of all the lumps, & then adding that. You want the soup to have a nice silky texture, & not be too thin. Season to taste.
-Top slices of ciabatta bread with shredded cheese, & broil a few minutes. Serve with the soup, garnish with dried parsley.

(I know the picture just looks like any ordinary soup, but it was delicious, the onions were almost falling apart, & it was slightly sweet from being caramelized with the sugar-sooooo good!)

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