Friday focus: Onions

There are a few dishes that never fail to remind me of France and Soupe à L’oignon (Onion Soup) is one of them. But if I decide to make some onion soup at home, it has to be for a solo meal as my son has declared that onions are evil (don’t ask me why!)

Onions have anti-inflammatory properties and their anti-bacterial action combats all kind of infectious diseases. They are full of nutrients that help fight against respiratory problems.

 

They contain compounds that help lower cholesterol, thin the blood and prevent the formation of clots and the hardening of arteries.

 

Furthermore, they contain sulphur, which is a constituent of the building blocks of skin, nails and hair. Sulphur also inhibits the body’s inflammatory responses, so onions may become your allies against all kind of allergies.

 

They are a good source of Vitamin C, which fights off free radicals and supports the immune system. They also have a high level of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that can block the formation of cancer cells.

 

 

 

French Onion Soup

 

Serves 4
2tbsp olive oil
10g butter
750g onions, thinly sliced
1tbsp flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp sugar
1tsp dried thyme
750ml vegetable stock
250ml white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

To serve:

Toasted slices of baguette, rubbed with a garlic clove
150g of Gruyère, grated.

 

 

 

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and sugar and cook on a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions will eventually catch at the bottom of the pan, but do not be afraid of those brown patches: this is where all the flavour is!

 

Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute. Add the flour and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan (deglaze.)

 

Pour the stock and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

 

Suggestion for serving: toast slices of baguette and rub them with a whole garlic clove. Cut them into thick croutons and place them at the bottom of your serving bowl. Sprinkle with grated Gruyère and pour the soup on top. The Gruyère will melt and become deliciously gooey. Sprinkle extra Gruyère on top.

Or float a whole slice of toasted, garlicky baguette on top of the bowl of soup, top with Gruyère and place under a grill until the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden brown.

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