Monday, September 24, 2007

O is for Onion Soup

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“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.


  1. Oh yum, onion soup. It's fun to see that your veggie project is going strong. Freddie should be proud. Unfortunately, I don't think I can manage some kind of vegetable project with the class because I just switched to third grade this year and I'm barely keeping my head above water with the blog and a new curriculum. Plus I don't teach health, there is a special teacher, so it would be hard to fit it into the day. Thanks for thinking of me though.

  2. There is NOTHING as savory and divine as onion soup - especially this time of year! And I love your description of those old colors. I always wonder if they always looked like that, or if they've faded. Maybe 30 years ago, everyone loved orange a lot more than we do now? Regardless, I think Freddie's such a brave soul to try onion soup. I'm impressed!

  3. Ohhhh French Onion Soup!!!! It is my most favourite soup!!!! The best I had was in Paris just down the road from the Eiffel Tower on a cold winters day!!!! YUM!!!!

  4. Hiya, thanks for stopping by my blog. Your photos and recipes look very yummy indeed. I have an 11 year old who is quite adventurous with food and a 2 and a half year old who is NOT, so I will browse through your recipes and might try a couple....

  5. I LOVE the quote that you started out this post with. And I think that you are right about it taking 10-30 tries before the body recognizes these foods. The "experts probably don't even eat their veggies". I think you have done an amazing and wonderful job with your GBVC!!! I enjoy every post!

  6. Anonymous10:01 AM

    For another Delia onion recipe, how about a red onion tarte tatin?,1260,RC.html
    We love it - all except our 2 year old picky eater... She's a bit young for a blog, but your attitude is very inspiring, and I love discovering all these new recipies with you all!


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