Again we have had some lovely and busy days on the weekend with exceptional weather on Sunday. That of course has an impact on the time to work on the blog. But not to worry, I have had the opportunity to work on some dishes, I just haven’t had too much time to write up the posts. In the garden, we have dug up loads and loads of dandelions. The boys have helped carry them over to the compost and have been such good little gardeners, sharing a kid sized wheel barrow and running back and forth in the garden. We still have loads of dandelions to get rid off, but a little at the time and we will hopefully get there in the end. It is very nice to be able to work in the garden and have the help from the boys and seeing how helpful they are and how nicely they can work together when they get the right encouragement.
This year, there are plenty of onions growing in the garden, so on the weekend I decided to try out some onion recipes to figure out what to use all the onions for once they are ready to be harvested and eaten. The first attempt has been French onion soup, nothing much more oniony than that and also very delicious. If you go a little easy on the cheese, it is a rather lean dinner too.
Making French onion soup is simple, but it takes a little bit of time and patience to get it right. this recipe is suitable for dinner for 2 persons.
50 grams butter
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp sugar
1 heaped tbsp flour
500 ml stock
150 ml white wine
French baguette or other day old bread
100 grams comte, gruyere or other hard cheese with a bit of flavor
For this soup, I used normal yellow onions, but you can use red onions or shallots too, but then you need to adjust the amount of onions since they are very small in comparison to your normal yellow onion.
We will see what this year’s harvest gives us, but last year we have one yellow mammoth onion that ended up at 1 kg in size. I could have made this soup with only that onion then. 🙂
Melt the butter and oil in a deep frying pan. Cut the onions into small slices. There should be some size to the pieces, so don’t dice it up.
Cook the onion in the oil and butter on medium heat for 10 minutes to soften. Stir occasionally. They should be quite glossy after ten minutes.
Add the sugar and stir well. Let it cook for a further 15 minutes and stir regularly. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
Chop the garlic finely and add to the pan.
Boil some water and make your stock ready. 500 ml water and 1-2 stock cubes if you use that. If you have homemade stock, use that of course. But a good stock cube works well too. I use chicken or beef stock.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions in the pan and stir to mix well. Pour the white wine in and stir well to avoid lumps in the flour. Then add the stock and stir well.
Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes to thicken. Stir occasionally.
Cut the bread into small loaves and turn on the grill on your oven. Put them under the grill for 3-4 minutes to crispen up. But make sure they don’t burn.
Grate the cheese finely.
Pour the soup into oven proof ramekins or soup bowls. Put the bread on top and then finish with the grated cheese.
Put in under the grill for 3-5 minutes for the cheese to melt. Once it has turned golden it is finished.
Enjoy it with a nice white wine and good company.
This recipe can easily be scaled up to make dinner for a crowd. In that case, I would use a large cast iron pot, like a Le Creuset one instead of the frying pan.
For this soup, I used comte cheese for the topping of the dish. This is not the most flavorful of the choices of cheese, or the most salty, so depending on what you prefer, you can use a different cheese. A gruyere or cheddar would add more salt to the dish and also a little bit more balance. Using comte made the soup fairly sweet in flavor. It was very nice, but next time I will try a more salty cheese, just to see how much of a difference it makes.