I just pulled out all of our onions this week. It is our first big harvest for this year. Onions are very easy to grow in Central Texas. We plant the onion sets very close together and use the thinned out ones as green onions. The ones I just pulled are from our edible garden but I also plant them interspersed in our perennial garden. I am always surprised and delighted to find a few pop up the next year. And I’m convinced they deter aphids and other pests.
We have a tradition of using the first onions to make a big batch of French onion soup. VERY EASY! Here’s the recipe – I really don’t measure, it’s whatever fits in my 8-quart pot:
- 1/4 cup+ butter
- 12 – 20 small to medium onions, halved then thinly sliced; I use a mixture of mostly reds and then white or yellow
- 2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 – 5 quarts of water
- 6 – 7 tbsp Better than Bouillon beef stock base
- 1 – 2 cups dry white wine; I usually use a $8 – $10 bottle of Sauvignion Blanc because it’s cheap enough to cook with and good enough to drink
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- baguette, sliced (you may also make good use of day old bread)
- Gruyere cheese, grated; no substitute for this cheese
- In an 8-quart pot, saute onions in butter until soft, translucent, and lightly browned.
- Add garlic and saute for a minute more.
- Add beef stock base (first dissolved in 2 cups of water), remaining water, wine, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, ladle the soup into heatproof bowls. Cover with sliced bread and top with cheese.
- Either broil in the oven until the cheese has melted or torch it with a hand-held kitchen torch. I prefer the latter.
Note: The soup itself freezes well.