Creamy Five Onion Soup

This easy to prepare hearty soup for a cool night makes for a wonderful dinner or rustic appetizer. 

CREAMY FIVE ONION SOUP | Makes 6-8 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series 

2 Tablespoons olive oil 
2 each sweet onions*, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
6 each Chipolini onions, chopped 
1 each red onion, chopped 
1 green onion, chopped 
1 Tablespoon flour 
1/2 cup tomato sauce 
2 teaspoons dried thyme 
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped 
2 cups chicken broth 
2 cups beef broth 

Optional: 

1/2 cup half and half
French bread croutons
Parmesan, Emmental, or Gruyere cheese 

Pre heat a large soup or saucepot to a medium heat. Add olive, sweet onions, garlic, chipolini onions, red onion and green onion. Cook for 10 minutes without stirring until you begin to see the onions in the bottom of the pot begin to brown, Stir, and allow the onions to continue to further brown. Stir and allow onions to cook for an additional five minutes. Total cooking time of onions will be about 20 minutes or more. 

Season with thyme, bay leaves, pepper, add tomato sauce, flour and stir. Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes or until dry. Add chicken broth, beef broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cover and cook about 30 minutes. 

Remove bay leaves then, puree one half of soup in blender or food processor.

Return pureed soup back to soup pot. Bring soup back to a boil; reduce temperature down to a simmer. Add optional half and half. Serve with a toasted French bread crouton, top and melt cheddar, grated Parmesan cheese, and jack or Gruyere cheese. 

*Note on onions: Soup may be made with any type sweet onions and garlic only. Or, you may use addition of any onion family such as leeks, chives, etc. 

Time For Glühwein

During the Christmas season many German town centers have street markets with stalls selling cookies, arts and crafts, wooden toys and other festive items. Almost every street corner seems to boast Bratwurst and Glühwein stalls. Light a roaring fire and pour yourself a small glass of warm, spicy red wine. Below is a basic recipe, but in Germany vendors will offer you additional flavorings such as elderberry cordial or a shot of dark rum. At home, spike it too, if you choose.

Heat your Glühwein in a large saucepan on the stove or in a large jug in the microwave, but don't let it boil or the alcohol will evaporate. If you want a less alcoholic drink, then mix in apple juice or water. 

pk-photo | istock

Glühwein Recipe

Chef George Hirsch | Makes 6 servings

1 bottle full-bodied red wine
1 small lemon
6 orange slices
10 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
4-6 Tablespoons sugar
3 ounces brandy

Preparation

Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Cut the lemon in quarters. Stick the cloves into the rind of one quarter. Slice the rest thinly. Add the lemon quarter and orange slices to the pan with the cinnamon and sugar. Heat slowly until hot, but do not allow to boil. Add brandy and serve in heatproof glasses or small cups Place a metal teaspoon in the glass before adding the hot liquid to prevent glass from breaking.