Thursday, 29 January 2009

Onion Soup Without Tears.......

......and without too much flavour, too, I have to say! This recipe is not one of Nigel's best, and I shall stick to the tried and tested version of sweating masses of onions carefully and slowly in a pot in future. Sorry Nige. It was a sound idea in principle - bake peeled onions in the oven to avoid the smell and faff, then add to wine and vegetable stock (as specified in the book) and simmer for 20 minutes. As always with me, I went off on another track. Firstly, I felt the onions needed to be sliced rather than halved for baking, otherwise they would never be tender enough. Also, 40g of butter is just too much - this was halved. Then, I really had an aversion to veg stock and substituted it for beef (though the BBC recipe here says to use beef - strange that the book didn't). We used white vermouth and some cognac in place of the wine. I also added some onion marmalade as I thought the flavours needed balancing. The result? OK, but where were the melting strands of sweet luscious onions? The sweating produces almost a stock of its own, a sweet onioniness that should permeate the finished dish. This was a bit one dimensional. So, won't make it again! I noticed that many other bloggers who have tried this felt the same way. In future, I will stick with the tears, which are worth it for the end results. PS: this was definitely better for lunch the next day, when the the onions had a chance to soften and become more integrated into the soup.

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