Thursday, November 6, 2008

Comforting Onion Soup

Mosquitos don't bite me.

It's true. I live in an area where we are invaded by mosquitos in the spring and summer, but I've never been bit by one. Actually, I haven't been bitten by anything. Well, okay, I've been bit by a spider, but that doesn't count! What does this have to do with food you ask?

Well, I tend to joke that bugs stay away from me because I eat so many onions (and lots of garlic). Seriously. I eat onion in some form every single day. And while I don't know if there is any real connection between onions and mosquitos, I do know that onions possess some amazing health benefits. Onion and other Allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, chives, etc.) are characterized by their rich content of thiosulfinates, sulfides, sulfoxides, and other odoriferous sulfur compounds, which have been shown to be beneficial to your health when eaten over time. They may be a useful herb for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, especially since they diminish the risk of blood clots. It also protects against stomach and other cancers, as well as protecting against certain infections. The sulfur compounds found in the onion are also anti-microbial, so they help prevent you from getting sick. If you're feeling a little under the weather, this soup is the way to go!

Oh, and a word of note: the more pungent varieties of onion appear to possess the greatest concentration of health-promoting phytochemicals. That means a few tears are, in the words of Martha Stewart, a good thing.

This soup is warm and comforting, especially now since the weather is growing colder. To serve this soup, bake a slice of the Homemade Brown Bread with some vegan mozzarella on top until browned and (about as...) melted ( it's gonna get). Place on top of the soup and you're ready to go!

Comforting Onion Soup:
2 Tb. olive oil
4 lg. yellow onions, sliced thin
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. good beer (I use "Shiner Bock", but a dark "Bock" beer is good. Keep it vegan!)
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 Tb. dijon mustard

Heat oil over medium heat while you slice the onions. Add all the onions and the salt, give it a good stir, and cover. Cook over medium-low until the onions are nice and soft, about 20-30 minutes. Slowly add the beer, vegetable broth, water, thyme, and mustard, and simmer another 30 minutes or so, until the soup has reduced a little and it's nice and thick. Top with hot "cheesy" bread (as mentioned above).

Note: This is based on a recipe I found in Vegetarian Times, Nov./Dec. 2008 issue. It was supposed to be an appetizer or a spread of sorts, but I made it soup!

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