Garden Fresh Recipe: Hot, oniony, true comfort food
Here’s a soup that’s a special favourite of mine for any time of the year. Summer, fall, winter or spring. It doesn’t matter when you make it, French onion soup is the most delicious of all soups, in my humble opinion.
This prompts a confession like no other. I love onions! So many layers, packed with goodness, flavours that can make any dish sing. In fact, from stews to salads, red, white, green: all onions make a worthwhile flavour offering for just about any main meal dish one can name.
French onion soup is my all-time favourite soup for several reasons: its pure heartiness, the warmth you feel as you savour each spoon. Memories of yesteryear. It heats you up from the inside out. It's true comfort food.
6 tbsp unsalted butter 5 large onions
3 sticks celery
4 litres (17 cups) beef broth ½ cup of regular flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (ground) 3 pounds of beef bones ¼ cup red wine
1 bottle brown ale
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large pot and peel and chop the onions, carrots and celery, placing them in the pot and simmering gently. When the onion is clear, add the beef stock. Bring to a boil, then add the beef bones, brown ale and red wine. Bring to a boil once more, then transfer to a slow cooker and cook for eight hours on the low setting.
Turn off the slow cooker and leave to cool for several hours. Strain the soup through a colander into a large bowl. Then, using a large pot, strain the ingredients once again through a sieve, this time into the pot and heat slowly.
Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan. Slice the onions and place them in the frying pan. When they have started to turn clear, add the flour and stir through. (Do not leave the pan untended or allow the flour to burn). When these ingredients are fully mixed together, add to the now-clear beef broth and bring to a boil for no more than three minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve, pour the soup into bowls and add a thick slice of buttered French bread to each. Sprinkle some good cheese – Havarti, Gouda, your choice – over the bread. Place the bowl of soup under the broiler to melt the cheese. Serve and enjoy!
French onion Soup.