Onion Soup–the Italian Way

Post image for Onion Soup–the Italian Way

(photo by William Meppem for Chronicle Books)

Most of us think of onion soup as a classic French dish, served in a crock with a slice of toasted baguette in the bottom of the bowl and a crusty cap of melted Gruyere cheese oozing over the top.

But did you know that Italians have their own versions of onion soup? In fact, they have more than a few, and as with all Italian cooking the recipe changes from region to region and from town to town. It’s not surprising if you think about it. One of the most appealing characteristics of Italian cooking is the way it elevates the lowliest ingredients, including the onion…

Read more of my guest post about Italy’s many variations of onion soup on the Chronicle Books blog, where you will also find the recipe for Zuppa di Cipolle al Pecorino from my book The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy. Enter to win a copy of the book simply by leaving a comment on the Chronicle Books blog. Buona Fortuna e Buon Appetito.

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9 Responses to Onion Soup–the Italian Way

  1. Dejah February 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    I made an onion soup this past weekend mostly because I found beef tails at the butter. Never having seen them before I decided to give beef broth a go with them – and beef broth + caramelized onions = something that makes you go awwww.

    What is interesting for me though, is that I approached it in a very similar way to you but in different steps. This is what you were writing about in your post about writing – uniqueness. For example, I like the richness that tomato paste brings out in a beef stock, but I like it there from the beginning so I rubbed it on the beef tails before roasting them in the oven. I feel this gives the broth a more subtle undertone of tomato. Once the tails morsels were roasted I simmered them in water with thyme, carrot, onion, celery and a bouquet garni with more than an ample amount of thyme.

    I then caramelized a lot of onions. Once my onions were caramelized I used Cognac to deglaze the pan. And then added flour.

    My real experiment, however was the addition of cooked chicken liver that I mashed to a paste added to the pot with the finished stock. I had made that same day a Moroccan chicken dish that called for adding chicken livers to the braise and then using them to enrich the sauce. As I had one left over (and was very happy with the results in my chicken dish) I decided to add it to my onion soup. And what a great addition this was!

    I topped mine with Gruyeres cheese and french bread toasted at the bottom of the bowl.

    • Domenica February 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      Dejah, I am so glad you posted this comment. We all bring something unique to the dishes we cook, and your onion soup is a terrific example of this. I would never think to rub the beef tails with tomato paste, but I’ll bet doing that added depth to the flavor of the broth. Nor would I think to add a chicken liver–wonderful! Thank you for sharing your personal touches. Cheers!

  2. Karen Albro February 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    That soup looks delish! Just made a chicken and orzo soup last weekend, will try next! Thank you.

    • Domenica February 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

      Thank you, Karen. Onion soup is a favorite in our house–but so is chicken and orzo. Enjoy!

  3. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle February 24, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    I’ve just done a Euro version of Onion Soup; a classic French version I suppose but I LOVE the simplicity of the bread slices and Parmesan cheese in your Italian version. So appealing on so many levels but love that it’s lighter and easier..perfect!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Onion Soup–the Italian Way -- Topsy.com - February 17, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather Farrell, Domenica Marchetti. Domenica Marchetti said: Onion soup–Italian style! New post & #cookbook #giveaway Win a copy of The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy: http://ow.ly/3Yb9f #recipe [...]

  2. A Denver, Colorado Food Blog with Recipes and Photos - Vino Luci Style – Recipe: French Onion Soup - with some Italian Style! - May 3, 2011

    [...] half of the braised onions for soup and am so glad that I saw this post from my friend Domenica for Italian Onion Soup. While I really wanted to try Julia Childs recipe, I loved the ease of Domenica’s [...]

  3. French Onion Soup – with some Italian Style! — Denver, Colorado Food Blog with Recipes including main dishes, side dishes, soup, salads and desserts - Creative Culinary - May 11, 2011

    [...] half of the braised onions for soup and am so glad that I saw this post from my friend Domenica for Italian Onion Soup. While I really wanted to try Julia Childs recipe, I loved the ease of Domenica’s [...]

  4. French Onion Soup – with some Italian Style! — Recipe - Creative Culinary - A Denver, Colorado Food Blog - Sharing food through recipes and photography. - January 18, 2012

    [...] half of the braised onions for soup and am so glad that I saw this post from my friend Domenica for Italian Onion Soup. While I really wanted to try Julia Childs recipe, I loved the ease of Domenica’s [...]

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