Ok, so I was intrigued. What’s the difference between French onion soup and English onion soup? Goggling did not reveal any information. My best guess is that Jamie is British, and since he came up with the recipe it’s only right that it’s called “English Onion Soup”.
The first time I tasted French/English onion soup, I was surprised by how a stinking root vegetable that makes us CRY could taste so good. I’m not a fan of onions eaten raw although I do like it them in stirfrys and hotdogs (bring on the grilled onions!) occasionally. The onion soup, however, is a whole new different ball game together.
The thing about this English Onion soup is that it does require patience-a quality that I seem to lack in my cooking these days. However, it was AR’s birthday and being the “ideal fiancée ” (rolled eyes) that I am, I decided to put in the effort and kick myself off the computer to cook something special for him. (his birthday was about a month ago so you know how backdated this post is!). He requested this soup some months ago but I never got around cooking it. My argument is that-the longer he waits for the soup the more special it is right? LOL. Ok, so I wasn’t totally hardworking either. Besides the onion soup, he had a steak sandwich as well-which was easy and quick.
BUT coming back to the English Onion Soup, I absolutely adore this recipe. The best one that I have ever tried. As usual, I did not manage to follow Jamie Oliver’s full recipe as the stupid leeks were not available again! ARGH! I have no luck with leeks I think ….
I have also omitted the fried sage leaf as stated in his original recipe but I’m sure it will add a nice fragrance to it if it was added. I have used red onions rather than brown which gave the soup a natural sweetness. I used brown onions previously and although they were good they were not as sweet as these ones.
Still, I love the way the bread was soaked in this goodness and topped with full strength (reduced fat- I just have to add that! :P) cheese, it was rich, good and definitely worth it.
English Onion Soup with Chedder– adapted from Jamie At Home (Serves 2)
Knob of butter
4 red onions-chopped till you cry (you can also use a variety of onions)
2 tablespoons of garlic
500ml-600ml of beef stock
2 pieces of old Vienna bread
100 grams of cheddar cheese
sea salt and freshly grind black pepper
Put the butter, olive oil and garlic in a deep pot. Stir and add all the red onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pot. Cook in a low fire for about 40-45 minutes till soft. Check every 10 minutes or so and stir. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUSH THIS STEP! Slowness is the key for the onions to release it’s goodness.
Add stock and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Skim the fat if you are feeling hardworking (which I confess, I did do that…). Meawhile, preheat the grill and toast bread.
Check seasoning of the soup. Then ladle into oven proof bowls. Tear toasted bread and gently dunk it in (so that the top is still expose). Sprinkle cheese over it. Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce over the cheese Put the bowls in the oven and grill till the cheese melt. Serve with a good steak sandwich! =)