Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Onion Soup - Antique Style

There aren't many things more comforting than a nice warm cup of soup on a cold day. And when you combine a steamy rich broth with melty cheese and crispy bread crumbs it just warms you up all over.
Onion soup is one of those dishes.

Shopping at a local antique store on near my parent’s farm is always a weekend visit must. There are new treasures on every visit, many of them from the rural Wisconsin farm community, passed on through the generations.

Scanning the shelves packed with dishes I spotted these little soup cups. There was a set with listing recipes for Chicken, Cheese, and Onion Soup. I scooped up the Onion's and waited through the summer till fall.
Finally the weather cooled down and a request for more heart-warming dishes rang in the kitchen. The canning season which was just completed came in handy for that cooked all day taste.

We fired up the stew pot, simmered the onion broth till the house smelled in each room, roasted homemade bread crumbs, melted the cheese, and tried to resist burning our tongues on the steamy soup pulled from the broiler.
It might be the nostalgic soup dishes, but it warmed us to our toes regardless.

Onion Soup
6 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups chicken or beef stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
Toasted bread crumbs
Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot heat the onions with the oil till soft. Add the flour and allow to stick to the onions. Add stock, bay leaf, herbs, salt, pepper.
Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hrs.
Add cream and milk. Let simmer till thickned. Removed from heat and spoon into oven safe dishes, leaving 2 inches from the brim.

Place toasted bread crumbs on top of the soup. Pile Mozzarella over the bread crumbs. Place on a tray and broil till cheese is lightly brown and melted.

Remove and let cool slightly.
Goes well with sandwitches, salads, or as a side starter.

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