Why would I want to be making soup in south Florida in 90 degree weather? Better yet, why would I think any of my friends and family would want to make soup in such a torrential downpour of heat and sun? The answer is, I don't know why. I've just been thinking lately about making a good tasting onion soup after having had some so-so, rather salty onion soup in a restaurant last week with my mom. And, well, there is air conditioning keeping me cool inside for the venture. So, here it is. Make this soup. It's vegetarian (for all my non-meat eating friends and family.) It's delicious. It's topped with a wonderful miniature bread toast and a Parmesan crisp instead of that big blob of melted cheese. I know, I know. That's what's good about it, right? Try it this way, and let me know how you like it.
DELICIOUS ONION SOUP WITH MINIATURE TOASTS AND PARMESAN CRISPS
4 heaping cups of onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sherry (you can use bottled cooking sherry if you must, but don't tell anyone)
4 cups of vegetable broth (see below for my tip)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Packaged Miniature Toasts
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and cook and stir often over low to medium heat until the onions are fully softened and starting to brown. This process will take at least 45 minutes to one hour. There is no rushing this step. Increase the heat to high, add the Worcestershire and sherry and cook for a minute or two, or until the sherry reduces. Stir in the 4 cups of broth, lower the heat and simmer another 20 minutes or so.
Here's my tip for the broth.... You can use cans of broth if you like. In this recipe I used a seasoned roasted vegetable cooking base. Find them in the canned soup aisle, Better Than Bouillon is the one I used. They really are much better than bouillon, less salty, and much more flavorful. The jar costs a few dollars, but you'll find that you'll be seasoning the water with it when you make rice, pasta, other soups, sauces. Use 1 tsp. per cup of water (you'll need 4 tsp. for this recipe.)
While the soup is simmering, make the crisps. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set the oven rack in the middle. Finely grate the Parmesan and use 1 Tbs. per crisp. Dump it onto a well oiled baking sheet (I used cooking spray) and then with the back of your spoon flatten the mound out a little. Grind some pepper on each one. Don't crowd, maybe only 6 to a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes approximately.
Remove from oven and carefully slide your spatula around the edges and remove each one to a rack. My pictures above show the process, and you CAN do this! It was actually very easy, and I surprised myself. This is Alton Brown's recipe from Food Network. They are soooo delicious! And no carbs! Ladle the soup into your bowl and set the bowl on a serving dish.
Surround the bowl with one or two toasts and two or three crisps and let the lucky recipients assemble their own garnish. Enjoy!!! And please say hello in the comment section below.