Onion soup

A little curiosity about Portuguese cuisine and the use of onions – it is a staple ingredient basically used as a condiment in like … well, nearly every meal we cook. Although this recipe is of French influence, we sometimes take a walk on the wild side and fix up a foreign recipe, but always using our national products.

If you are not a fan of raw onions, you will probably like this recipe, as the strong sulfur compounds are cooked down and an aromatic yet soft and sweet flavour is developed.
Believe it or not, the smelly sulfur compounds are responsible for many health benefits such as reducing cancer risk, cardiovascular disease and commonly known to increase immunity because of its antibacterial properties.

|| Onion soup
▪   45 grams salted butter
▪   30 grams olive oil
▪   4 cloves of garlic
▪   1 bay leaf
▪   15 grams sugar
▪   1 kilogram white onions
▪   2 tablespoons white wine
▪   30 grams apple cider vinegar
▪   Fresh thyme
▪   30 grams all purpose flour
▪   600ml water
▪   Salt and pepper
▪   150 grams cured
goat cheese

Melt half the butter in a large pan (to maintain the amount of onions from overflowing), with the olive oil, bay leaf, fresh thyme and sugar.

Fry the sliced garlic, add the onions and caramelise until golden brown. Splash with white wine and let reduce.

Mix in the flour, making sure that no grains are left – this creates a roux, the base for any white sauce like béchamel, and is a huge help to thicken this soup.

Fill the pan with water and let cook on low heat for at least 20 minutes. The longer the better, for flavour development and nutrient preservation.

Salt, pepper and vinegar, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

After this, and the best part of it, melt some cured goat cheese on your soup. You can opt to gratin the soup in the oven directly (in oven-suitable dishes) or use a kitchen torch. Serve with toast and a fabulous glass of white wine.

By Megan Melling

Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started three years ago when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Portugal. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She is currently working as a cook in Lisbon and documenting all of her personal recipes on her blog www.melsvittles.wordpress.com