Simple soup

June 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

It’s been ages since I posted a home recipe, hasn’t it? I’m still cooking but most dishes, being tailored, don’t translate well to formal measurements. Anyhow, here’s a v simple recipe for French Onion Soup I learned. Very easy, veg friendly (if you use water instead of beef stock) and great for a cool night in. In fact, I made it last night for today.

You will need:

  • Bunch of large onions (white or brown)
  • Chunk of butter – be generous.
  • Flour
  • Water/stock
  • White wine or white Vermouth or, as I prefer, Cognac
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Gruyère cheese


Thinly slice the onions. [Tip 1: use a mandolin for quick even slicing. Tip 2: onions will cook down to about a fifth, or less, of raw volume so adjust accordingly to serve X number of diners. Tip 3: use a heavy-based pot that you can bung in the oven if you don’t want to watch it on the stove]

Cook onions in the butter for about 20 minutes until completely limp and submissive and moves around like a wet rug. There should be caramelisation in parts and also around the pot. Your kitchen will be smelling wonderful by this stage.

Add 1-3 tbsps of flour, just a little. It’ll help thicken the soup later. Cook it down for a couple of minutes. More caramelisation and stickiness will ensue on pot floor. This is good. Caramelisation is flavour, remember that.

Add 1 litre or more of water or (beef) stock, depending on how much soup you want to make. Not too much or the onion flavour will be completely diluted. Add good splash of alcohol.

Salt and pepper to taste. I prefer to add salt to the onions early to encourage sweating and for flavour to develop. This reduces salt addition later. [Tip: when cooking, always taste at various stages before and after seasoning]

Simmer low, covered, for .5 to1 hour, depending on liquid amount.

Just before serving, grate Gruyère onto bread (preferably baguette slices) and melt the cheese under the grill. Option – if your bowls can handle the heat, repeat same process to melt the cheese over the soup to create a bubbly crust. Serve immediately.

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Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.