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Do Your Onions in a Bunch


Chopping onions can be like watching a good tear-jerker--you weep and sniffle a lot. But onions bring a savory, rich flavor to cooking. So I plunged into a pile of onions, chopping and caramelizing them all at once. I used half for a dinner of grilled sausages served with whole-grain mustard on a bed of onions, and the other half I saved for this Creamy Onion Soup, served the next day.

To caramelize onions, begin by chopping 5 large onions. Heat 5 tablespoons butter in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden brown, 25 minutes longer. Adjust the heat so the onions brown but do not burn. Remove 2 cups onions; cool, cover and refrigerate. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the onions remaining in the pan, plus salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled sausages.

The best news: With these leftovers, you get to make a French bistro-style onion soup without shedding another round of tears!


Morgan is author of "Cooking For The Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking For Easy Weekday Meals," (Chronicle Books, $18.95).

Creamy Onion Soup

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

You can substitute sour cream for the creme fra^iche, but add 1 teaspoon flour to stabilize it before stirring it into the soup.

2 cups caramelized onions

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef broth

2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup creme frai^che or sour cream

4 thick slices sourdough or country bread, toasted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

* Heat onions in 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over top and cook, stirring continuously, until flour is absorbed and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add beef and chicken broth, thyme, salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in creme fra^iche.

* Place 1 piece toasted bread in each soup bowl. Ladle soup over top. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

4 servings. Each serving: 241 calories; 1,351 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 1.38 gram fiber.


Bowl from Smith and Hawken stores.

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