Monday, 17 June 2013

Week 21 - English Onion Soup

I have been a little bit obsessed with making french onion soup for a long time now. There is just something about the sweet oniony goodness that I cannot ignore. I loved the idea of 'as many different' types of onions' as possible and it allows for varying taste and texture. I have just recently discovered worcestershire sauce so this was a great opportunity to enjoy it. This recipe was so easy (as usual) but tastes amazing (also as usual), it really is something special and made to share.

5 types of onion

Reduced down and ready for the lid

Book: Jamie at Home

Recipe: English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar


Serves 8

Good knob of butter
Olive oil
Handful fresh sage leaves, 8 leaves reserved for garnish
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 red onions, peeled and sliced
3 large white onions, peeled and sliced
3 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
300g ounces leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups good-quality hot beef, chicken or vegetable stock
8 slices good-quality stale bread, 3/4-inch thick
200g ounces freshly grated Cheddar
Worcestershire sauce


Put the butter, 2 glugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a heavy bottomed, nonstick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without coloring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes, the onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness and an awesome flavor, so don't be tempted to speed this up.

When your onions and leeks are lovely and silky, add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You can skim any fat off the surface if you like, but I prefer to leave it because it adds good flavor.

Preheat the oven or broiler to maximum. Toast your bread on both sides. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it's perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking sheet. Tear toasted bread over each bowl to t like a lid. Feel free to push and dunk the bread into the soup a bit. Sprinkle with some grated Cheddar and drizzle over a little Worcestershire sauce.

Dress your reserved sage leaves with some olive oil and place 1 on top of each slice of bread. Put the baking sheet into the preheated oven or under the broiler to melt the cheese until bubbling and golden. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't burn! When the cheese is bubbling, very carefully lift out the baking sheet and carry it to the table.

Changes Made: I halved the recipe and it was still enough for 3 + a lot of leftovers. 

Results: Devine! This was a really special dish which invoked all sorts of warm and fuzzy emotions. Perfect for an Australian winter day.

Next Time: Nothing, and cannot wait!

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