First of all, I must apologise profusely for my long absence. Despite the lack of new posts, you've all still been so faithful in visiting this site. (I'm still not sure how I picked up such a large reader base in Latvia, but I love it nonetheless.) It may interest you to know that all of my ruthless blog-ignoring has paid off, and I am no longer a starving college student. No, I am now a starving intern, soon to be a starving grad student.
I am nothing if not ambitious.
If you've been on Pinterest lately (and who are we kidding, we're probably all on there far too often for far too long), you'll have noticed that the corn, zucchini, and tomato recipes are starting to phase out. Fewer and fewer people are pinning 56 ideas for backyard sprinkler fun, 72 ways to keep kids learning over summer, and 101 craft ideas for sponges. Now I'm seeing recipes for butternut squash gratin and apple crisp and pumpkin bread, and it makes me a tiny bit sad. Just a tiny bit, mind you, because when I think about leaving behind 100°F weather and moving forward into thick scarves and hearty soups and the glorious gorgeousness that is NaNoWriMo, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. And for once, it isn't heartburn.
This soup is one more precursor of fall. It's not the prettiest dish on the block, but that's not always what counts. It's got wild rice, to help you feel healthy; and beef broth, to help you feel full; and plenty of cheese and butter, to help you feel safe,since you'll be that much harder to kidnap. If you want to switch out some of those things for whatever reason — perhaps leaving out the rice, perhaps cutting back on the butter (why?) — by all means, do. But whatever you do, you must absolutely have these two things:
1) A horribly lit kitchen, preferably under the trees on a cloudy day, certainly with at least one light bulb burnt out. It'll help you get into that fall mood. (Vitamin D supplements not included.)
2) An extremely social cat who does not want to be left out of anything and trips you up at every opportunity.
Ready? Let's make some soup.
French onion soup with wild rice
A mix of Smitten Kitchen's French onion soup, Smitten Kitchen's Vidalia onion soup with wild rice and blue cheese, and Key Ingredient's French onion soup
- 4 T. butter
- about 2 lbs. sweet yellow onions (I used three large ones)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 4 c. (two normal-sized cans) beef broth
- 1 c. water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1–2 tsp. thyme
- dash of black pepper
- 1 c. wild rice or rice blend
- bread (I used a sourdough boule)
- butter for toasts
- cheese (I used Western Family Swiss, but feel free to be fancier)
- Melt butter in large soup pot over low-medium heat.
- Slice onions thinly (I quartered mine before slicing) and add to pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
- In large saucepan, bring about 4 c. water to a boil and add rice. Cover and cook for 45–50 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
- Add sugar and salt to onions, turn up heat to medium, and cook for 30–40 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are caramel-coloured.
- Add beef broth, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper to onions. Simmer for 30–40 minutes.
- Butter bread thickly and top with sliced cheese. Toast in toaster oven until crisp.
- Stir rice into soup, ladle into bowls, and top with toasts.