28 May 2012

Recipe a Day: Colonial American Onion Soup and Stuffing

The title is a little misleading because this stuffing is decidedly not colonial, but at least the soup is.  I'm almost embarrassed to post the stuffing, but we like it here and it works.  I usually use naan for it here because naan doesn't save very well and I don't like the traditional system of eating stale naan dunked in hot milk.  So I tear up leftover bits of naan and save them in the freezer till I have enough to make stuffing.

I suppose this is really dressing, but that always sounds a little snobby to me.

This is one of the few meals I make that feels American to me. 

Here's what you'll need for the soup:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter (or more or less as you like)
  • 4 large onions, chopped (or more or less as you like)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat is nice)
  • 1 liter water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne
  • Bread (one slice, or crumbs, or chunks, fresh or dry)

And what you need for the stuffing:

  • 2-8 tablespoons butter (more is yummier, but obviously not what you're supposed to do)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Lots of chunks of bread- at least 4-6 cups
  • Herbs and spices (I used thyme because that's pretty much all I had.  Dried herbs like sage are available here, but just at certain stores.)
  • Salt to taste- I think it's easy to oversalt this, so be careful
  • Cayenne pepper to taste, optional
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vinegar (5% or a little stronger)

Put the onions and butter in a pot and cook them for about 10 minutes.

Till they're soft and golden.

Add the flour.

And stir-fry for a couple of minutes.  It'll start to stick to the bottom, so pay attention, but it's not too big of a deal because you'll be adding water next.

Add the water and bring to a boil.

Then add the salt.

And the pepper (black is fine too).  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

About 10 minutes before serving, throw in the bread.  I've used chunks like this (from the stuffing), or crumbs, or whole slices.  Continue to simmer till you're about ready to serve.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolk and vinegar and beat together with a fork. 

I liked this photo.  When it's been at least 10 minutes since you added the bread, turn off the heat.  Add a few spoonfuls of the hot soup to the egg yolk and stir, then add the egg to the soup, stirring to keep the egg from curdling, but I've never had much of a problem, especially since it's just the yolk.

And serve.  Garnishing it with something green seems like a good idea.

 Meanwhile, it's easy to make some stuffing.  I think a drier one like this is good with soup, but you can add broth if you want it soggier.  Personally, I think naan makes a much better dry stuffing and junk bread in America makes better soggy stuffing.  There's also some leftover sliced rye bread in the photos.

Heat the onions and butter and cook till the onions are soft.

Then add the bread chunks.

And whatever spices/herbs you like. And the salt and pepper.

Then you just cook and stir for a few minutes or two till everything is covered and buttery.  Awfully simple.

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