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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Onion-tamarind soup with herb butter baguette

We like onion soup in its classic French version, but the addition of onions to any kind of broth makes us happy as well, especially in the cold season. Here we took a more oriental approach to the onion soup and paired it with an oven-baked baguette stuffed with a herb butter spread. It sure is warming to dunk a crispy freshly out-of-the-oven baguette in a light and airy soup :). 
And don't worry about unpleasant smells (if you haven't had onion soup before), the cooking takes it all away and leaves behind only a delicious flavorful sweetness. Not to mention you're probably not going to catch any cold for a while. Enjoy. :)

Last year: Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet) with parsley and fennel and Red wine pears and Camembert

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
  • 4-6 onions of mixed colors (1 red, 2 yellow, 1 white in our case)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or normal butter)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon herbal liquor
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1,5 liters soup stock
  • 1 teaspoon flour / starch (optional, if you want to thicken it; we didn't use any)
For the baguette:
  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by chopping the onions (not very finely, slicing them is enough):

Add them all to the soup pot with the ghee or butter and place on medium heat:

Let them cook slowly, stirring once in a while, until they're softened and slightly golden (but nowhere near brown). Then, add the sliced garlic clove, the vinegar and the herbal liquor:

Stir and cook some more for 4-5 minutes. Then add the tamarind paste:

Stir well, fry for 1-2 minutes more, then add the soup stock. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the baguette. Slice it (but not all the way). Blend the butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper with a mixer (or by hand but it will take longer) until very evenly combined. Insert a little herb butter with the edge of a knife into each slice of the baguette:

Bake it in the oven at 200-220 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The baguette and the soup should be ready at about the same time. Pour the soup into bowls, place the baguette, separated into slices or pieces nearby and dig in :)

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