12 January, 2018

Layers Of An Onion – Onion Soup

Layers Of An Onion – Onion Soup
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According to Uncle John’s Unsinkable Bathroom Reader: 

“Onions are edible bulbs with stalks that grow a couple of feet above ground. Members of the onion family include leeks, scallions, garlic, shallots and chives.

Onions were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians and believed that their round shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity. Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onion juice believing it would make their muscles firm. (If only that were true I would risk smelling like onions for firm muscles.)

Onion facts:

  • There are more than 1,000 kinds of onions, grown in at least 175 different countries.
  • Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and California are the big producers of spring onions
  • Oregon, Washington, and California are the leaders in storage onions. 
  • China and India are the leading growers of onions. China harvested 2.2 million acres of onions in 2005. India harvested 1.3 million acres. 
  • Americans eat roughly 20 pounds of onions per person per year.
  • A survey by researchers at Texas A&M University revealed that men eat almost 40% more onions than women. (That explains some things :))
  • Onions aren’t rich in minerals or vitamins (except vitamin C).
  • They are low in calories and have no fat, cholesterol. or sodium. 
  • Pearl onions are just ordinary white onions harvested when they’re still small.” 

Benefits of eating onions from Cooking Without Limits:

  • Lower lung cancer risk, especially among smokers
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Maintain gastrointestinal health by sustaining beneficial bacteria
  • Reduce symptoms associated with diabetes
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Reduce symptoms associated with osteoporosis and improve bone health

A couple of years ago we visited Walla Walla, Washington where they grow the best sweet onions. We came home with a large bag of these onions, of course! They made the most flavorful onion soup.

Here’s an onion soup recipe that I tried recently. I’m not totally satisfied with this recipe – although it had a much better flavor the next day. I’m still looking for the recipe I used a couple of years ago when we returned from Walla Walla, Washington. It turned out superb. I’ll be adding it to this post when I find it. However, in the meantime, this recipe is worth trying – I’d recommend making it the day before you want to serve it.

French Onion Soup
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 4 onions, sliced (I used sweet Walla Wallas)
  3. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  6. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1 cup white wine, about 1/2 bottle
  8. 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  9. 2 quarts beef broth
  10. Dash of worcestershire sauce
  11. 1 /4 teaspoon onion powder
  12. 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  13. Dash of sugar
  14. Sliced french bread
  15. 1/2 pound grated Gruyere (options: swiss or mozzarella)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized. This could take awhile depending on your stove top (perhaps 30 minutes to one hour). You want the onions to be caramel colored.
  2. Add wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dryish (about 15 minutes).
  3. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  4. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Next add the beef broth and a dash of Worcestershire, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  7. Before serving, preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup in bowls and arrange the bread slices on top and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I had to do a lot of fussing with this recipe. It just didn't taste like I thought it should. The soup was remarkably better the next day. I recommend making a day ahead and letting it rest in the fridge overnight.
Christina's Food And Travel http://christinasfoodandtravel.com/

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