Onion Soup

>> Saturday, April 10, 2010

This recipe is basically the base of French Onion Soup without the addition of alcohol. The deep flavor will come from the caramelization of the onions and this will often take one to two hours to get the perfect sweetness.  Add herbs and spices to your liking and maybe even some melted swiss on top if you're able to eat cheese.

Start with a clean pot. I always add a stick of butter to cook the onions in, no matter how much beef fat I can get from making broth.

If you have an oil/water separator, it will be easy to get the fat off the broth after cooking. I chose to refrigerate my broth overnight so I could pick off the fat.

This last batch of beef broth wasn't so bountiful so I threw in another stick of butter (I got 3.5 cups from the previous batch!).  This is personal taste.  If you fear fat, add to suit your needs.

Melt fat over low heat. I used an enamel covered cast iron pot for this so I had to use very low heat.

Add onions. This batch contained about 5-6 small onions.  Add more if you like a lot of onions.  I make rings for ease but this definitely adds to the cooking time. Keep heat on low, cover, and let the onions "sweat" for about 30-45 minutes.

While the onions are sweating, reheat (if needed) the remaining broth and blend so that all the gelatin, meat, and marrow is indistinguishable.

Once onions are soft and translucent, uncover and continue to cook on low until they reach a deep dark brown.

It may take at least an hour for the onions to start caramelizing. Keep stirring to avoid any sticking to the pot.

Once the onions are caramelized and the sweetness you like (about 1.5-2 hours for me), add the blended broth in and bring to a boil. Add less broth if you like a thicker soup with more onions.  Once boiling, remove from heat and add black pepper and sea salt (table salt just doesn't do it) to taste.

I've tried cooking beef along with the broth to add more protein to this soup, but the flavor comes out much like brown gravy. To keep the sweet onion taste, I add very thinly sliced steak when the soup comes to a boil, either to the whole soup or to each portion for breakfast.


Sarah April 13, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

Wow! You really aren't afraid of fat. I thought I was unafraid, but you have just raised the bar to a whole new level. :) This looks yummy -- I will probably try it.

I just wanted to tell you also how much I like your sidebar summation of what you're doing, diet-wise. It pretty much matches what I'm doing and I might have to borrow it to share with some people!

Best of luck to your belly.

Shel April 13, 2010 at 3:19 PM  

I have to make up for all the junk food, sugar binges, low-fat and vegetarian fads I followed for years. This soup makes quite a big batch because I use a lot of broth so I probably get 1/4 cup of fat or less from 2 cups of soup. Not so bad for me.

Thanks for checking out my site. I want to try the meatballs but am thinking of cutting out dairy for a while. Maybe in a few months if I can push it off. I'll tell you how it comes out!

Sarah April 13, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

That's just how I feel -- like I have to make up for a decade of low-fat, high-carb, vegetarian eating. I literally feel like my body is a sponge, soaking up fat, minerals, vitamins, and more fat, that it missed out on for so long. I had no idea what an utterly nutritionally empty diet I was eating all those years, trying to be "healthy"...

bbharat April 21, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

No alcohol? Julia is rolling around in her grave!

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