Soup's appeal goes up as temperatures go down. We're headed into soup season in central Kentucky this week. Once I began making homemade bone broths from Elmwood Stock Farm's perfect, grass-fed, certified organic stock-making packs and bone-y leftovers, I also began practicing French onion soup.
French onion soup depends on deeply caramelized, thinly sliced onions plus good broth. In our gluten-avoiding kitchen, we don't even make the iconic crouton+cheese topping, and find we like it a great deal even so. I used three large onions browned slowly in a mixture of olive oil and butter for more than an hour. Then up to 8 cups broth (I used both beef and chicken), a little wine, some thyme, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, a sprinkle of rice flour for thickening, and another 90 minutes simmering. It could have gone longer. Start earlier than you think. If you want a more precise recipe, here's a straightforward one, and here's an indulgently long, descriptive one, both good.
What if you don't like onions? Or you don't have three hours until dinner but you do have some celery mouldering away in a fridge drawer. Jane Grigson's Celery Soup is another great comfort in winter, so simple to make with ingredients you likely have on hand, provided you keep stocked up on good broth or stock.
While your soup simmers, you may need some reading material. How about these:
- Understand more about the challenges makers of sheep cheeses face in the US, here.
- Plan a whole year of delicious Kentucky farm-to-table outings here.
- Read noted chef and food policy thinker Dan Barber's review of the new Gary Taubes book on just how problematic sugar probably is for human bodies here.
Sponsors included in this post: Elmwood Stock Farm.