Honest Onion Soup

Unless you live in some eco-friendly urban area with paradisical market enclaves, you’ll most likely find only four kinds of onions for sale: red, yellow, white, and green. I almost never cook red onions, reserving them for salads and toppings, but you’ll find me using all others liberally in damn near anything I pop in the oven or put on the stove.

A word about yellow onions, however; nowadays they are almost always sweet. Not all of them are as cloyingly sweet as the Vidalia, which has been beatified by zealous regional journalists who equate eating a Vidalia onion sandwich at the office for lunch with that of hunkering down around the `fahr’ with a mason ‘jahr’ of `shahn’ listening to the dawgs tree a coon, an experience just rife with Southern machismo, derring-do and chauvinism, but these onions smother the flavor of an honest onion soup, which should have a mellow savoriness that comes only from time and care.

Mince six medium-size white onions. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup of butter. Heat to medium and add two cloves minced garlic to brown.  Add onions, cook down, then add about six cups of beef stock and a cup of dried onions. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered (what a wonderful smell this makes, too) until the onions are soft and clear. Add salt, pepper and thyme to taste; some like rosemary. A slash of sherry at the last minute is a nice touch. Serve piping hot with well-buttered, crusty bread.

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