I believe that onion soup can cure you from what ever ails you in the domain of winter. Want to show off and create that dish that only restauranteurs make, start with onion soup. You ran out of soups to make and only have onions and stock in your pantry then onion soup is where you want to go. Yes ladies and gentlemen today’s motif is the mighty onion! A Bulgarian Nursery teacher told me once that when wanting to get over a cold to boil an onion, add honey and drink it- this is how they do it in Bulgaria. I could not fathom the idea of drinking an onion flavoured tea and why suffer when these onions can do so much better.
I want to prep those onions, and that’s what the process of onion souping does. It sweats, caramlrises, flavours and finally mellows them through heating. Voila you have created perfection!. It is very fulfilling to create that thing that you thought only restaurants can master. Maybe that’s why I love cooking so much, it is instant gratification. Well not so instant but it is more instant than performing a Beethoven Sonata or a Chopin Polonaise. I can see that I am a little off on a tangent today.. and that’s what this soup does to me.
This is the basic recipe followed from Julia Child’s, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I changed the recipe around a little.
I added one table spoon of flour and not 3, I had no white wine so just added the Cognac, I only added butter (1 table spoon) to fry the onions with mixed with oil, there was no need to smother the bread with it. I used vegetable stock (I recommend you use mushroom if you don’t want to use beef) I only used thyme for a herb and used Gruyere and parmesan. All that and it still came out wonderful and that’s because I did not compromise on the cooking time for the onions. They really need to change colour and texture to add that distinct mature taste to the soup. You can also and easily create this soup to be gluten free. I found that just adding cheese and a little sprinkle of parsley was as delicious if not more so than having with the bread. Bon Appetit.
I see Jordan with different eyes to most people who live here. It may be because of the fact that I have been away for most of my adult life. I marvel at the beauty of small things encountered in my day to day activity around Amman. I find myself stopping my car in the old part of town and taking pictures of houses and streets that tell stories that I’ve heard before but never really payed attention to. There is more wisdom in it now and yet as magical.
I am writing this post from Amman actually. We have decided to stay here for a while. When my friend Jan rang to ask if I was interested to go pick organic vegetables in Ajloun, I was very excited. With Salma buckled up in the back and pacified with a portable DVD player, Jan and myself chatted for two whole hours. We decided to stop in Jerash to get a week’s supply of Dairy products then carried on to Ajloun to pick organic coriander, parsley, pumpkin, green chillies and few other items..
Organic parsley, corinader and mint in Ajloun
Salma with a donkey
Jan with a bouquet of coriander
Abu Maher, land owner and farmer
Pomegranates in season
I came back with organic green chilis that I decided to preserve in oil
- 500 g green hot chili
- 2 table spoons sea salt
- olive oil and 3 clove garlic sliced
Just a note added aster having prepared those chillies, please deseed them before slicing and preserving. Simply cut open length way and using a small spoon scrape the flesh to rid them of the seeds.
Simply wash and slice the chilis into thin slices and sprinkle with the salt and leave over night to drain water off and enhance taste. Next morning place the sliced chilis in air tight containers with 1 sliced garlic and oil and lock away for a few days until all flavours permeate. I spread the oil and chilis inside sandwiched especially strained yoghurt sandwiched. Bon Appetite