Not French Onion Soup

Our cupboards are sparse as we’ve been sick, running around after new sheep and dealing with our extremely anxious dog who had surgery last week and is not at all happy with the plastic cone around his head. Needless to say, we haven’t made it the shops lately. So instead of making soup from stones, I made it from a heap of onions. As we’re still feeling sick, I ended up making a much lighter onion soup than the traditional French Onion Soup.

Onion Soup with Heaps of Sage

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
A large handful fresh sage leaves, with 8 leaves reserved for serving
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
8 onions, peeled and sliced (use white, yellow or red onions or a mixture of the 3 if you have them all on hand)
3 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock

Put the butter, olive oil, sage and garlic into a heavy bottomed pan over low heat. Stir everything together and then add the onions, shallots and leeks. Season generously with salt and pepper, but remember the saltiness will intensify during the cooking process. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook for 50 minutes, making sure the onions are not browning much or sticking at all. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes, allowing the onions to become golden and velvety. Don’t skimp on the cooking time; it’s the slow cooking that develops the amazing flavor!

When your onions and leeks are soft and silky, add the stock. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with 2 or 3 fresh sage leaves a top.

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