It’s cold, y’all. Really, really cold. And icy. Really, really icy. I grew up in south Georgia where three snowflakes make the local newspaper front page. I was not meant to live on the tundra. My idea of sweater weather is anything below 72 degrees.
Like everyone else around Atlanta, BeeBop and I listened to the warnings late last week about the winter storm that was coming our way for the weekend. We listened and waited. And waited. When the snow finally started falling at our house about 10:30 Sunday night we were already completely worn out from listening to the news about what was coming. So, exhausted already from the coverage, we went to sleep aware that something big was on the way. And it turns out this time they were right! By Monday morning we had snow ankle-deep as far as the eye could see. An absolutely incredibly beautiful sight. Perfect, pure white snow everywhere. By Monday afternoon it was still there. Tuesday morning – still there. Tuesday afternoon…STILL there. And they are telling us that we really won’t see any significant melting or improvement in the roads until at least Friday. Sigh.
Thank goodness BeeBop, having grown up in the Denver area, knows how to deal with the fluffy white stuff. First thing this morning, he put on his big boots, heavy jacket and gloves and cleared our entire driveway! We can drive from the garage to the street now! Beyond that it’s a no-go, however, since the street’s covered in a sheet of ice. So, since he couldn’t get in to his office, he spent a little time doing something he did growing up in Denver – he built a snowman right down at the bottom of our driveway. I promptly named him Mr. Frosty and loaned him one of my scarves. I think it really adds to his ensemble, don’t you?
Shoveling snow and building snowmen is cold work. And after that kind of morning you need something warm and satisfying for lunch. What could be better than a lovely warm bowl of onion soup? With buttered toast and melted cheese on top. Yum. You’re probably thinking rich beef broth, golden soft onions, gruyere cheese…not this time! This is an English Onion Soup with chicken stock for a base, sage for the seasoning and lovely sharp cheddar cheese. I saw Jamie Oliver make this on his show Jamie at Home one day and I knew immediately that it would suit my palate much better than the classic. Not that I don’t love the classic French onion soup, I do! But this version really pleases me.
Use any combination of onions that you like. Leeks are great in this soup as well. I used what I had on hand – a large red onion, one Spanish onion, a couple of yellow ones and a bunch of green onions. Prepare the onions by peeling and slicing the red and yellow onions into half moons and roughly chopping the green onions. Roughly chop the fresh sage, reserving a few leaves for garnish.
Place the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the onions, sage, salt and pepper.
Stir well to coat everything with the butter and oil. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pan leaving it slightly ajar. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes without coloring the onions too much.
Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 20 minutes more until the onions become soft and slightly golden. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Just before the cooking time is up, place the stock in a pot on the stove and bring it to a simmer.
When the onions are soft and slightly browned, add the hot stock, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the toasts. Slice 8 one-inch thick rounds, place on a baking sheet and spread each generously with butter. Place under the broiler until they are golden brown and crisp.
Place 8 oven-safe dishes on a baking sheet and ladle soup into each. Top each dish with a toasted bread round and a generous amount of grated cheddar. Sprinkle the cheese with just a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Toss the remaining sage leaves with a few drops of olive oil and place one on top of each dish. Place under the broiler under the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Other onion soup recipes you might enjoy:
- The Best French Onion Soup…Ever! from Cookography
- The Amateur Gourmet’s French Onion Soup
- Alton Brown’s recipe for French Onion Soup
- English Onion Soup on Too Many Chefs
- English Onion Soup from The Great British Kitchen