French Onion Soup

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I’m on a French cuisine kick these days.  Maybe it is in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Paris or maybe it is because I love French food.  I’m not certain which but I spent the day making onion soup.

Onions and bone broth make for a relatively low-calorie hearty soup option that makes a great supper for when I get home at night.  Easy to fix and filling, it is a perfect night-time meal option for me.  You might be thinking, how is french onion soup low calorie with all the bread and cheese?  I have my own special twist.  I use pecorino Romano shredded cheese and croutons.  It is a fraction of the cheese and bread you normally find used in onion soup and, yet, it gives you the taste you want.

Making the soup is a bit more than my traditional dump and run recipes so I tend to wait until I’ve got a kitchen project to make this recipe.

Slice six large onions and separate the rings

Melt butter in the bottom of a large stock pot until it foams, add the onion rings and coat.  Let cook on low until the rings are translucent.

Sprinkle with sugar, salt and thyme, bring to medium heat and cook until the onions are caramelized.

Add three tablespoons of flour  and one teaspoon dry mustard and cook for three minutes.

Stir in eight cups of bone broth, half a cup sherry and 3 teaspoons of lemon juice.  Cook for several hours.

Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Serve with croutons and pecorino Romano cheese.

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The Onion

Do you like french onion soup? Do you like something tasty but with minimal calories? Do you enjoy a dish that is simple to prepare in minutes after a busy day?   If you            answered these questions in the affirmative, then I have a recipe for you.

This is one of my Mom’s favorite dishes for a summer, or any time, dinner.  The backstory of the introduction of this dish to my family goes to Dad.  He was traveling in Georgia on business, tasted the onion in a local restaurant, and ended up brining home a large bag of Vidalia onions. For those of you unfamiliar with this onion, it is grown in Vidalia, Georgia. Evidently there is something special about the soil in the area that produces a tantalizingly sweet onion perfect for baking or use in a salad.

Imagine my Mom’s face when, after presenting her with this huge twenty pound bag of onions, Dad then asked her for pantyhose. I’ve seldom seen my Mother at a loss for words, but her silent response was to walk upstairs and, within a few minutes, return with packages of unopened pantyhose.  I guess this was part of what she dearly loved about my Dad.

Dad dutifully put onion after onion separated with a knot into several pairs of pantyhose while Mom looked on. After his precious onions were “packaged” for storage he took them to the garage where he hung them next to the sugar cured hams also in residence and hanging from the ceiling in the garage.

Over the next few months Mom was converted into a fan. As she prepared supper, she would cut an onion per person for dinner from the pantyhose for our vegetable.

Mom’s recipe, slightly altered by me –

Prepare one onion per person with the skin removed. Cut a notch out of the center of the onion to insert a bullion cube. I use beef bullion cubes and this makes the onion taste like french onion soup. If you really want the onion soup feel, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.   You can also use chicken bullion, if you prefer.  Spray the outside of the onion lightly with olive oil and sprinkle greek seasoning over the onion. Over top of the bullion add a smear of butter (I use yogurt butter). Place in the microwave and cook three to five minutes or until the onion is cooked through. The time will depend upon the size of the onion.