Honestly, I totally forgot Lent started this week. My sister called me on Wednesday, when I totally planned to have leftover chicken paprikash, to remind me it was Ash Wednesday. We did a whole routine of, “Really? Sh*t. I totally forgot. I don’t want fish tonight; we had fish on Monday,” and settled on soup.
Technically, I think I’m in violation of Lenten dietary restrictions because I used beef broth. But there were no actual chunks of meat, so I’m going to assume the Church will give me a pass on this one. Although I doubt Monsignor Strahan is going to come storming over from St Bridget’s to check my soup pot.
This is a variation on a Rachael Ray recipe from her 30 Minute Meals 2 cookbook. I used her recipe as a basis and modified it slightly. I also couldn’t get my onions to caramelize properly, but honestly I couldn’t taste the difference this time around. It was still sweet (as far as onions go, anyway) and it was still deliciously tasty.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 medium or 4 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dry sherry
- 6 cups beef broth or stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add onions to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep brown caramel color. RR’s recipe said that should take between 15 and 18 minutes, but I’ve found it usually takes longer than that. I let them cook for about twenty-five minutes before I lost my patience and just added the liquids.
Once onions are the desired color (or you get bored), add salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, stirring to scrape up any brown bits of onion stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil. Remove bay leaf and serve with crusty bread.