I hadn’t made gluten-free onion soup, so I pulled out a recipe from the Famous Barr restaurant, dating from the 1970s. (Note: Famous Barr was not a bar but a St. Louis department store with amazing onion soup.) Of course, I had to remove the paprika (no nightshades for me), and I couldn’t use beef bouillon (as I have yet to find a brand that I can eat). So I substituted several ingredients, enough that this soup does not taste a bit like the recipe I remember. And that’s fine—maybe even better, as I created something new by changing the wine from white to red, using less liquid, fewer spices, etc.
It was a wonderful meal for warming up on a rainy winter day. I usually don’t experiment on my guests, but I had been wanting to make onion soup all week. This recipe takes about four hours, and I just hadn’t had the time. Three beautiful, large onions sat on my kitchen counter, beckoning to me. And I finally had an excuse to get started early, as I was making lunch for a friend.
The simmering onions needed a bit of stirring but were basically on their own as I cleaned the house and prepared dessert and sorghum biscuits.
1 stick butter
3 large onions (or equivalent), sliced in 1/8” sections, then halved
3/4 cup millet flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 carton (1 quart) Rachel Ray™ All Natural Beef Flavored Stock
1 cup cold water
1 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
In a large stockpot (5-quart), melt butter over low heat. Add slices onions and simmer uncovered for 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring every so often. Then add flour and pepper, stirring often for about 5-7 minutes. Add bay leaf, beef stock, water, and wine. Wait to add salt until soup is almost done cooking. Simmer covered for 2 hours. Serve with sliced or grated Swiss cheese over the top and gluten-free bread or biscuits. Yield: 4-6 servings. Freezes well.
This soup , a luscious dark red brown and a bit thicker than the onion soup I recall from my youth, is truly delicious. My friend and I each had a second bowl. Maybe at some point, I’ll create a thinner version, more like the Famous Barr recipe. But for now, I am happy with this hearty onion soup, a memory in the making.