Last week we celebrated Constitution Day by watching our county’s annual parade. After the last float passed us by, my youngest daughter turned to me and asked if we could go to the store and get some onions? I gave her a puzzled look which she returned with an exasperated roll of the eyes. “Mom, didn’t you read all those signs? Workers need onions!”
She was right. Workers do need onions as well as unions. According to the National Onion Association NOA, onions – white, yellow, red and green – not only taste great but when included as part of a person’s daily diet, they could provide numerous health benefits which include:
- Reducing Risk of Stomach and Brain Cancers
- Lowering levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and thromboxanes which are substances connected with the development of cardio-vascular disease.
- Reducing Symptoms Associated with Osteoporosis, Diabetes and Asthma
This is good news for our family because we love ALL onions – white, red, yellow, green, sweet, strong and even pickled. One of our favorite onion recipes makes a great late summer meal – French Onion Soup.
French Onion Soup
Makes 8 servings
- 5-6 medium onions or 3lbs – a mixture of red and yellow. Thinly sliced.
- 1 Tbl sp olive oil
- 2 Tbl sp butter
- 2 tsp fresh, minced thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
- 2 tsp fresh, minced rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 Tbl sp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbl sp honey
- 3 Tbl sp flour
- 5 c. homemade chicken stock
- 2 c. beef broth
- 3/4 c. dry red or white
- 8 oz shredded Swiss cheese – 2 c.
- 4 oz grated parmesan cheese
- 1 sour dough baguette
- Melt butter with cooking oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the sliced onions, thyme, rosemary and a pinch of salt until onions are thoroughly coated with oil and butter mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions begin to darken. This will take 20-30 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and honey and cook until the mixture begins to caramelize. Reduce the heat to medium low and sprinkle flour over the onions. Scrape the sides until the mixture forms a thick paste. Add extra butter if needed for the correct consistency.
- Slowly add the chicken stock, beef broth and wine. Scrap the edges and bottom to make sure you get all the crispy bits. Increase to medium heat and add the bay leaf and sage. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toast in toaster oven until golden.
- Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf.
- Ladle soup into oven safe bowls and place on cookie sheet. Top each bowl with 1-2 baguette slices and 1/4 c. of grated Swiss cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese has melted – 5 minutes.