Five Onions for Fall

by | Sep 23, 2010 | Cookbooks / Blogs / Social Media, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

First full day of Fall and I’m lookin’ for soup recipes, especially because it has, once again, been unseasonably cold ‘round these parts (40-something outside this morning). I remember going back to school in September and it being 105 degrees, this year is freezing, soup is a must.

I found a Morton’s (The Steakhouse) onion soup recipe on the Chicago Food Blog that boasts 5 different onions in the recipe, wow! Spanish and red onions, leeks, shallots and garlic, as an onion lover, how could I pass that one up, and knowing Morton’s reputation, I knew it must be good. It hales from the restaurant’s second cookbook, “Morton’s The Cookbook.” It takes a little work, but well worth it!

Morton’s Five-Onion Soup Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds Spanish onions (about 2 large), thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small leek, halved, thinly sliced, and well rinsed
  • 3 to 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic (about 20 cloves)
  • 5 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons beef base
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 3/4 quarts (7 cups) reconstituted store-bought demi-glace, or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Croutons (See recipe below)
  • 1 1/4 pounds Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese, grates or shredded
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

In a deep stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add both types of onions, the leeks, shallots, and garlic and cook very slowly, loosely covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the onions release their juices, are very soft and syrupy, and are lightly browned.

Add the sherry, Madeira, beef and chicken base, thyme, herbes de Provence, and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.

Stir in the demi-glace and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

Remove the bay leaf, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and ladle the soup into 10 broiler-safe soup crocks. Lay 2 croutons on top of each bowl of soup and sprinkle the cheese over the croutons. The cheese should cover both the crouton and the soup.

Working in batches, broil the soup crocks 2 to 3 inches from the heat source for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese browns and the soup bubblesx around the sides. Use heavy oven mitts to handle the crocks and take great care removing the crocks from the broiler. Garnish each bowl with parsley and serve soup immediately.

Croutons for Five-Onion Soup

Makes 20 to 25 Croutons

One 18- to 20-inch-long baguette or 4 Portugese or Milano rolls

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Cut the bread on the diagonal into croutons that measure about 2 1/2 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide, and 1/2 inch thick. Spread the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and bake for 4 to 6 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, slide the croutons onto a cool pan or rack and let cool. Use right away or store in a lidded container for up to 3 days.

Every season hath its pleasures;

Spring may boast her flowery prime,

Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures

Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.

Thomas Moore

…. Nancy (not a poet at all)