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Something To Cry About

While everyone else I know is panicking over the non-availability of flour, dried beans and bathroom tissue, I am focusing my attention on onions. Yes, the humble onion that seems to just languish in huge bins and mesh bags at my local grocery store, is my go to for the times we are in. Why? Onions are versatile, cheap and can make a meal with just a few ingredients. Onion soup comes to mind with a blanket of melted cheese over its bubbly self.  My trick for making this very filling soup is to use different types of onions, not just yellow onions. Vidalia for sweetness and red onions for color and flavor and even leeks and shallots, two other esteemed onion family members are all good. Using just common  yellow onions are just fine too. Roasting the onions first gives this soup great flavor. So let others cry over the lack of beans, bathroom tissue and flour. I’ll save my tears for onion soup.

Oven Roasted 5 Onion Soup
Serves 4
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound salt pork or bacon, diced
5-6 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 1/2 cups hot beef broth, fresh or canned low-sodium
1/2 cup dry red wine
Fine sea salt to taste
Grinding coarse black pepper
4 slices coarse bread cut 1/2-inch thick
1/4 grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
8 slices Swiss, Gruyere, or Provolone cheese, plus additional if desired

Preheat oven to 450.

Spread onion slices on a oiled bake sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, add the salt pork or bacon and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the roasted onions, broth, and grated cheese, stir well, re-cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.

In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil and fry the bread slices on each side until golden brown. Add additional oil as needed. Drain the bread on brown paper and set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls. Add ½ teaspoon sherry to each bowl. Place a slice of cheese on top of each bowl, then a slice of bread and another slice of cheese. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese, if desired. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve immediately.

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