Updated 12/15/2012 05:00 PM
Recipe: Onion Soup with Carrots, Parsnips and Fresh Thyme
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2 - 3 pounds onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tbs olive oil for sauteing onions (or more as needed)
1 heaping cup peeled and thinly sliced carrots
1 heaping cup peeled and thinly sliced parsnips
2 Tbs fresh chopped thyme
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine (or a slightly sweet Marsala wine)
6 cups unsalted beef broth (see hints below)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
for the croutons:
8 slices country bread, 3/4 -1 inch thick
4 - 6 Tbs olive oil combined with the above minced garlic and 1 Tbs chopped thyme
4 - 6 Tbs olive oil for brushing first side of croutons
Add 3 - 4 Tbs of olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed soup pot on medium high heat and saute 2 - 3 pounds of thinly sliced onion.
Add a little more oil if you need to, turn the heat down to medium after a couple of minutes and stir the onions regularly as they're cooking down and browning up.
While you're keeping your eye on that, peel and thinly slice one generous cup of carrots and one generous cup of peeled parsnips....and you'll also need to finely mince 1 large clove of garlic and finely chop 2 Tbs fresh thyme.
Add the garlic and 1 Tbs of the chopped thyme to a bowl with 3-4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil and mix that up.
Once the onions are nicely browned, add the carrots and parsnips and the remaining one Tbs of thyme and cook that along for a few minutes.
Then add 1 cup dry red wine, or something like Marsala wine, and 6 cups of unsalted beef broth and bring it up to a simmer.
You can add a couple of bay leaves to that if you have them and let it gently simmer along until the carrots and parsnips are cooked through.
To make the croutons, brush the 3/4 - 1-inch thick sliced bread with regular olive oil, on a baking tray, and brown that underneath the broiler....then flip the bread over and brush the second side with the garlic and thyme olive oil and then brown that side as well.
Once the croutons are done and the carrots and parsnips are soft, season the soup to taste and it is good to go.
After peeling onions, cut them in half from top through root end, place flat side on cutting board and thinly slice crosswise from top through root end.
The onions will cook down a lot as they soften up and caramelize. You definitely need a heavy bottomed soup pot for this and quite a bit of patience because the onions take a while to brown.
If you can't find unsalted beef broth, you will not need any salt to season finished soup.
Or substitute chicken or vegetable broth if you like.