Monday, September 24, 2007
O is for Onion Soup
“Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, scarce-suspected, animate the whole.”
In Lady Holland Memoir 1855
So said the 19th century clergyman Sydney Smith. All through the Great Big Vegetable Challenge I have been using onions as an ingredient, “scarce-suspected”. It is hard to imagine cooking without them. Just four months ago and Freddie would still scrape the onions off a pizza, sift through bolognese sauce, even pick them out of onion bread. But months of secret onion use has paid off. I never believe any sentence that begins,"Experts say..." but I keep on reading that it takes a child between 10 and 30 tastes of a new food before they get used to it. Without knowing it, Freddie, has clearly been getting used to their taste and texture. Now it is time for onions to come out of the shadows.
I made French Onion soup from a recipe in an old Robert Carrier cookbook. The photos were taken in the early 70's: the colours are bright and brittle. It reminds me of the brown enamel cheese fondue set that we owned at that time. It had colour-coded forks that I thought were beautiful. His French Onion Soup picture shows a bubbling tureen of bright yellow cheese,swirling in a sea of brown onion. My own effort looked a little tame in comparison. If you want to try it out, Delia Smith features a pretty similar recipe here.
Freddie liked the floating cheesy baguette. He tolerated the onions. Seven out of Ten. But it did make me feel that it was time to find that old seventies cheese fondue set.