Before I left for the colder climate of VT I stocked the freezer with easy meals, filled the pantry with Nate's favorite meal staples (raisins, cereal, soup, etc.) I was excited to hear that Nate had gone grocery shopping a few days before my surprise arrival. Imagine my horror and shock when I opened up the fridge. THERE'S NO FRICKEN FOOD IN HERE!!!! I might have exaggerated a little bit. There was food but it was limited to condiments, milk, half a bag of spinach and bologna. I asked Nate what his meal plans were with this food and his response "There's some frozen chicken that I was going to grill up..." I'm still not understanding the future meal plan. It appears that Nate has been surviving on cereal, oatmeal, sandwiches and when he feels fancy, Man tacos which consists of whatever meat is on sale. He throws it on the grill in a cast iron skillet with onions and potatoes and then fills a tortilla with grilled contents, salsa and cheese (which isn't a terrible meal but it's the only meal in his wheelhouse right now)
Luckily for Nate my body was wired for night shift, so while he caught up on his beauty sleep I whipped up a surprising amount of food with random scraps I found in our freezer and pantry in the wee hours of the morning.
One of Nathan's favorite soup's is French Onion Soup. When we first moved in together and I was cooking out of my tiny apartment kitchen, the inspiration for this blog, we lived in the cute town of Media, PA. We would get wild and crazy and hike up a steep hill into town where there were some bars, eateries, Trader Joes and 8 banks (why so many? I still have no idea.) We frequented an Irish brewpub called Sligo. We loved to get Snakebites (a beer cocktail, not the actual reptile love kiss) split a bowl of French onion soup and wings. They had a good thing going on there and as soon as we started to frequent this establishment things started to go downhill, maybe we're cursed? First the service started to crap out, then they changed the menu a million times, taking off most of our favorite treats with the exception of the French onion soup. I think they were trying to be more upscale but they failed horribly. After enough poor service and the discontinuation of the onion soup we declared "Never Again!" We still went there a few more times in hopes that we were wrong, we weren't. The service was the pits. And so I started to make onion soup from scratch for my favorite guy.
I use a recipe out of a Hannaford's grocery store magazine. The reason why I enjoy this recipe so much is all the hard work is done in the oven. I have never been successful at caramelizing onions. It's time consuming, you have to tend the pot and after seeing slow results I usually crank up the heat and burn all the onions. I have given up on caramelizing pretty much anything.
I hope Nathan appreciates the hard work I pour into this soup. The only hard work is slicing up the onions. I have tender eyes and practically cry onion tears the entire time. To make process go faster I use a mandolin.
Four Onion Soup
2 Yellow Onions
2 Red Onions
4 garlic cloves sliced
Slice all your onions, toss with s+p, thyme and EVOO and dump on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45mins at 450.
Mix 1/2c red wine with onions and roast another 15 minutes.
Add your roasted onions to a pot, use 1/2 c. beef broth to deglaze your cookie sheet. Add remaining 3.5 c. beef broth. Simmer for 30 minutes and enjoy.
If I'm feeling fancy I will make cheese toasts in the broiler and top the soup with these. This soup makes a BIG batch. I often freeze half of it for later.