Monday, May 16, 2011

The Cookbook Project

Back in April I posted a painting of an eggplant and today I am going to post onions. These are all part of a bigger project I'm working on––The Cookbook Project. I am gathering and recreating recipes to inspire my new way of eating. I am eating very little, if any, meat and I am trying to cut out dairy as much as possible. (although I doubt I will ever find a substitute for those two tablespoons of light cream in my coffee every morning)
Being so raw and rainy outside, I decide to make soup. I had a ton of onions in my frig so I decide to make onion soup. This is not my recipe. I cut it from a magazine many years ago so I don't even remember the original source. Most onion soups are made from beef broth but I used a strong vegetable broth (I make my own) and added a half teaspoon of white pepper to give it a kick.  I also use 1 1/2 cups of a dry red wine like cabernet, but any red will do.

 I start with 2 pounds of thinly sliced onions and sauté on medium high heat in 2 T of earth balance and 1 T of olive oil till nicely carmelized. This usually takes about an hour. Next time I might try roasting half the onions on the grill.  Then I add the wine and continue cooking till the onion mixture is thick and reduced some. Then I add the vegetable broth and the white pepper, a bay leaf or two and salt and black pepper to taste. For this soup I end up using about a teaspoon of salt. This might also be compensating for not using cow broth.
After about 20 minutes I turn the stove off and let the soup cool a little. (depending on how hungry I am) Then I puree half the soup in a food processor and return it to the soup.
Keeping the soup warm, it's now time to prepare the best part––the bread. I toast two little slices of baguette cut to about 1/2 inch thick per bowl. Then I place the the toasted baguettes on top of the soup in an oven proof soup bowl and top them with gruyere cheese (More for my husband than for me)  and broil them in the oven until the cheese is melted.
I wanted to try this soup without cheese so today I topped the baguettes with earth balance and brewer's yeast and was pleasantly surprised. The yeast had enough tang so I didn't miss the cheese too much.
This recipe makes six servings.

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