Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Onion Harvest and French Onion Soup

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All the onions have been pulled up. Normal wisdom says that when you harvest the onions you should let them “cure” for a few days, to dry out the outer layer and help keep them stable through the winter months. For at least some of them I have a different plan in mind. Thanks to the wonderful pressure canner I got for Father’s Day, I’m going to put up a batch of French Onion Soup.

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I also have pulled up most of my garlic already, 2 small cloves and 4 larger ones. One garlic is still in the ground, stubbornly refusing to be ready. The garlic bulbs will be properly cured so they can keep for a little while. I don’t have any immediate plans for them.

Some of the onions are sitting outside to cure, in a shaded area with good ventilation. I cut their roots short, and then cut off the stems about an inch or more from the bulb. They’re going to sit like that, turned occasionally, for a few days. Hopefully, when this process is completed, the outer layers will be dry and papery, and the onions will be stable enough to keep for a few months (as if we will let them sit that long!).

Going into the soup are any onions which I don’t think are suitable for long-term storage:

  • Any onions which put up flowers
  • Any onions with damaged outer layers
  • Any onions which were too small to be worth saving
  • Any onions whose stems were damaged during harvest too close to the bulb

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Once rinsed and peeled, I’ve got a little over 4 quarts of chopped onions to make soup with. I’ve posted this recipe before so I won’t go into as much depth here. I’m only giving my specific measurements.

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French Onion Soup

  • 4.5 Quarts chopped onions
  • 4.5 Quarts low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 Medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1tsp each dried thyme and rosemary

Add the onions to a large stock pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and black pepper to taste. Caramelize, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Once reduced and a deep golden brown color (NOT BLACK AND BURNED) add garlic, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Reduce apple cider by half. Add beef broth. Bring soup to a boil. Add bullion until the soup has a rich enough flavor. Add salt and additional black pepper, if needed.

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Ladle soup into prepared quart mason jars. Process in a pressure canner at 11 lbs for 20 minutes.

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See my earlier posts about the recipe in more detail, and about how to serve the soup once it’s been prepared.

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Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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