You’re a lucky duck if, when you are sick in the middle of winter, your husband and children bring you two gigantic organic onions from the market. Luckier still, if you happen to have a mini-harvest of lemon thyme in your backyard planters, despite the snow. Lucky in the extreme, if you happen to have a wedge of Piave Vecchio with which to top your soup. [Observe how The Kitch’n raves about PV here.]
Here’s our go-to recipe for Onion Soup, with some very lovely winter flavours. It’s a flexible recipe, of course, so do season your soup and top it as you please! Instead of topping our bowls with broiled toast, for instance, we like to serve slices of dark, seedy french loaves topped with Kozlik’s mustard on the side.
The Lunchbox Season's Onion Soup with Lemon Thyme, Lavendar, Cognac and Piave Vecchio
- 6-8 tbs butter [Sometimes we use garlic butter if we have any left over from other meals; Make it vegan with vegan spread or olive oil]
- 2 very large onions or about 6 large, thinly sliced [9 cups]
- 1-2 tbs fresh lemon thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1-2 tsp dried lavendar run over a bit with the fingers
- 2-3 cloves garlic very thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1/2 c white wine [optional]
- 2-3 tbs cognac
- 1800 ml beef stock [make it vegan with vegetable stock]
- 1-2 cups water
- Thin slices or small chunks of Piave Vecchio or sharp white cheddar [make it vegan with soy cheese]
- Heat butter over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven.
- Just before the melted butter begins to brown, add 1-2 tsp of the fresh thyme [or 1 tsp thyme] and cook for 30 seconds longer.
- Add sliced onions and stir to coat.
- Turn heat down to medium, and stir onions until cooked completely, about 20-30 minutes
- About 5 minutes before the onions are done, throw in 2-3 cloves of super thinly sliced garlic.
- When onions are a gently caramelized golden brown and the bottom of the pan is beginning to go brown, throw in .5 c of white wine to deglaze [stock also works], scraping brown bits up into a bubbly light brown sauce.
- Add stock and water and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to a low simmer.
- Add herbs, salt, and cognac.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Place soup in a bowl and top with a few thin slices of piave vecchio or alternative.
- Allow cheese to melt from the heat of the soup and serve immediately.
- Add pepper to taste at the table.
- Serve with slices of toasted seedy brown bread, slathered with mustard, if you dare!