“Onion soup sustains. The process of making it is somewhat like the process of learning to love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, time, and it will make you cry.” ~ Ronni Lundy
Soup. I love soup. There’s nothing like a hot bowl of good soup to warm you on a cold day. What’s my favorite soup, you ask? That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say split pea. Or maybe French onion. Hmm, yeah, it’s probably one of those two!
I recently had a craving for French onion soup, but since we’d already decided to make “BLTs” for dinner (and by “BLT,” I mean honey-roasted pork belly, arugula, and mayo on toasted sourdough), I felt the ooey, gooey cheese and hunk of toasted bread that make French onion soup so good may be a bit much … but I still wanted onion soup. My dilemma was solved when my husband, The Chef, whipped up this recipe for five onion soup.
A combination of red, white, and yellow onion, leek, and garlic (yes, garlic is a member of the onion family), this variation of the French classic is creamy, but light, and definitely filled my desire for onion soup. To add some texture, The Chef also made a topping of “guanciale croutons,” which added just the right amount of crunch and salt … and tied our onion soup and “BLTs” together perfectly.
Five Onion Soup
- 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow or sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large leek (white and light green parts), thinly sliced and rinsed well
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon flour
1. Prepare guanciale croutons per recipe below.
2. In medium stockpot over medium heat, sweat the red, yellow, and white onions in reserved guanciale fat for five minutes. Add leeks and garlic; continue cooking for 15 minutes total.
3. Add Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, and chicken stock to onions. Reduce heat to low, cover stockpot, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir melted butter and flour together in small bowl; pour over soup, bring to a boil, and stir until thickened.
5. Remove bay leaves. Serve soup in bowls topped with croutons and guanciale.
Notes: We also topped our soup with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese, which added another layer of flavor.
Notes: Leeks carry some dirt in between the layers of overlapping leaves. To clean leeks, remove discolored leaves and trim off green tops and root tips. Cut the leek lengthwise. Spread the leaves and rinse thoroughly. Placing the fanned out leaves in a bowl of water and gently moving the leaves will loosen any remaining dirt.
- 4 ounces guanciale or bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices sourdough bread, cubed
1. Render guanciale or bacon in olive oil until crispy and browned. Remove meaty bits with slotted spoon and place in paper-towel lined bowl; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon guanciale fat for use in soup.
2. Pour remaining guanciale fat over bread cubes and toss. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with salt and ground pepper.
3. Toast bread cubes in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes until browned.
Notes: While we always have olive oil on hand, we always have a jar of bacon fat in the fridge at all times too. We rendered our guanciale in bacon grease, but since many people don’t have it easily at hand, I listed olive oil in the recipe.