Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lazy French Onion Soup

Before I find a reason to procrastinate, here is another favorite soup of mine. I've always loved French Onion Soup, but it isn't something I eat very often. This is because at a restaurant it's bound to have beef broth and at home it's rather time consuming to nurse a pot of slowly carmelizing onions. By using veggie broth and a slow cooker, this recipe solves both problems. . . although you'll still have to be brave and slice a lot of onions. I've heard plenty of bogus ways to prevent the tears from coming (eat a slice of bread, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth), but the only thing that works for me is to wear goggles. Which I don't currently own, so I just power through.

Did you know that the humble onion has a number of impressive health benefits? Native to Asia and the Middle East, onions have been cultivated for over 5,000 years and have been used for their therapeutic properties since at least the 6th century. Onions have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in cancer-fighting organosulfur compounds (which helps stop cancer cell growth and prevents the development of cancers). Onions contain anti-angiogenic phytochemicals which fight tumor growth. Studies have also shown that onions are great for bone density and connective tissue as well as regulating blood sugar. So eat onions every day.

Onions before cooking down. They'll look a lot different in 8 or so hours...

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 good sized onions, sliced (about 3 lbs)
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 water
6 cups hot vegetable broth
Sliced French or Italian bread
Cheese of your choice (I used Daiya Mozzarella vegan cheese)

While you prep the onions, turn the slow cooker on Low and add the oil. Once you've recovered from crying your way through 3 pounds of onions, add them to the slow cooker. Sprinkle in the flour, brown sugar, black pepper, and thyme and stir to coat the onions. Add the wine, tamari and water, cover and let cook for 8 to 10 hours.

Check the onions, they should have cooked down significantly and be a rich mahogany brown. Add the hot broth and taste for seasonings. Depending on your broth you might want to add some salt. Toast the slices of bread then top with cheese and melt under a broiler. Serve the soup in bowls topped with one or two slices of bread. Perfect to come home to on a rainy day.

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