Gar­den Fresh Recipe: Hot, oniony, true com­fort food

Manitoba Gardener Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Ian Leatt

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

1 carrot

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.

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