ITALIAN Onion Soup
Nothing says comfort food more than a steaming bowl of homemade onion soup topped with melted Fontina cheese. A melange of onions are slowly caramelized to bring out a wonderful, savoury-sweet, intense flavour. Onions are a nutrient-dense food, low in calories, high in vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids. For centuries, onions have been used to reduce inflammation and heal infections.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium leeks (white part only) thinly sliced rings
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced rings
- 6 green onions, diagonally cut, thinly sliced rings
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 large bay leaf
- 3 whole sage leaf stems
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 12 cups sodium-free beef stock
- ½ cup Italian white wine (optional)
- 500g Castello Fontina Cheese, thinly sliced
- Farmer's Pick Portuguese buns, sliced and toasted (optional)
- Fresh parsley as garnish
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and cook until softens.
- Add onions, continue cooking at med-high heat for about 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently, careful not to burn onions.
- Reduce heat to medium, add maple syrup, bay leaf, sage leaves, sea salt and black pepper. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
- Add beef broth and wine (if using) and continue cooking on medium, for 10-15 minutes.
- Ladle soup into onion soup bowls, top with toasted bread slices cut to fit bowl. Top bread with Fontina cheese slices. Broil lightly in oven until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and garnish with parsley.
Tip: When slicing onions for soup, slice both ends of an onion, then halve onion lengthwise, and peel. Place onion flat side down and thinly slice lengthwise from stem to root. This allows shorter, more even slices that aren't long and stringy.