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November 13, 2010

Waterproof mascara?

…does anyone have tips on how to prevent teary eyes when working with raw onions? I don’t know if my eyes are extra sensitive or if there’s something wrong with the onions I use, but each time is just a mess!

Anyway, here’s where I got the inspiration for this soup: during our visit to Montreal last winter, my friend Karina ordered the onion soup in a restaurant called L’Aromat. We expected the French cheesy variety but what arrived at the table was a pleasant surprise. It was a creamy, pureed caramelized onion soup, and it was incredible.

This week, while considering what kind of soup I should make during the weekend, the soup Karina ate almost a year ago came to mind. Go figure.

I did not try to recreate it exactly, but rather achieve that flavor. And I succeeded.

Creamy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup

(Yield: 4-5 servings)


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

3 medium yellow onions, sliced

1 tsp sugar

1 shot cognac

1 tsp dried parsley

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1 bay leaf

2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1” cubes

3 c beef stock

1/3 c milk (whole or low-fat)


Fresh parsley for garnish

In a soup pot, heat the butter and oil on low heat. Add onions, sugar and 1 tsp salt. Cook for 40 min, stirring frequently. The onions should be a light brown color and mushy, almost pasty, NOT CRISPY! (Do not try to facilitate the process by raising the heat. Be patient). Add cognac and cook for 1 min, until alcohol evaporates. Add dried parsley, garlic, bay leaf, black pepper, potatoes and stock. Stir, raise heat, cover with lid and bring to boil, about 10 min. Once boiling, turn heat back to low, crack lid and cook until potatoes are cooked through, about 5 min.

Then add milk and re-season if necessary. Divide soup in two and puree one half with immersion blender or food processor and combine the halves. Bon appétit!


nazarina said...

Will definitely try this , just because I am a lover of the good old russet! Looks really creamy!

I was taught to just have a good sharp knife and to place the onions in the freezer for a bit!

More than Mode said...


Megan said...

This sounds delicious! Not that it's a great solution, but I've noticed my eyes don't tear up as much when I'm wearing contacts. If I ever chop onions with glasses on instead, I just have tears streaming down my face the whole time.

Thanks so much for your comment on my blog.

Mary said...

Sasha, its a foul and rainy day here in Oregon. I can't begin to tell you how great your lovely soup sounds. It really is a must try - and soon. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Missy said...

I want to try this but do you think I can Sub the beef for Chicken Stock or Veg?


Sars said...

This sounds great! I just made a tony of cream of broccoli soup... I will make this one next. About the watery eyes, my mom always told me to cut the onion in half and run cold water over it for a little bit. I do this and still get teary so I'm not sure if it works. Also read some where that chewing gum while chopping helps.

Chef Fresco said...

Nice work! I've never had cognac in soup before! I also have the watery eyes problem - and no good solution. =)

soop said...

People say that rinsing the onions as you cut them helps wash off the juice that they release. I do this sometimes, but never bothered to check if it really works. Personally, usually I just cut them as is and then turn to whoever I'm with and with tears streaming down my face declare that I'm so sad that the onion had to die to make our meal delicious.