Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Onion Soup with Toasted Barley Flour

In spite of all the snow out there and the fact that they are shut up in a lightless cellar at the same temperature they've been at all winter, my onions are absolutely convinced that spring is here and they are starting to sprout relentlessly. Thus I was looking to use up quite a few at once.

This is a simpler version of Four-Onion Soup, and uses the toasted barley flour technique from this Vegetable Soup. In spite of being simpler, I have to say I think it is just as good as either - an intense and oniony soup experience. The long slow cooking is what makes it so amazing; okay, that and the butter. 

It's a huge quantity of onions to start off with, and you may find it easiest to divide the butter and onions between 2 skillets for the onion-cooking phase of the recipe; hopefully you can then consolidate into 1 pan to finish.

The onions don't really require a lot of attention while they cook; every 10 minutes or so the aroma would increase as would the sizzling, and I would stop reading and go stir. Once the onions are peeled and sliced 90% of the work is over. It's a good project for a very cool spring day.

4 servings
1 hour 45 minutes prep time

Onion Soup with Toasted Barley Flour

Cook the Onions:
1/4 cup barley flour
1.5 kg (3 pounds; 8 medium-large) yellow skinned onions
1/2 cup unsalted butter

But first; toast the barley flour. Heat a very large skillet over medium heat, and dump in the barley flour. Toast, stirring constantly, until it turns a light brown. It will do this a bit patchily, which is why you need to stir. When it is a nice paper-bag brown, turn it out immediately onto a plate to cool.

Peel and slice the onions, and cut the slices into quarters.

Heat the butter in the very large skillet (you should rinse out the barley flour first) over medium heat, and when it is melted add the onions. Cook them for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring regularly. They should get quite soft and cook down in volume quite a bit, but show only faint signs of browning.

Finish the Soup:
4 cups unsalted beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sherry
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sprinkle the toasted barley flour over the onions, and mix it in well. Add the stock, and mix in thoroughly. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sherry, and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or so.

No comments: