Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them. "

~  Vincent A Simeone

Winter Garden
(Blooomfield Village)


~ A slightly different tasty take on the 'classic' ... red onions and red wine (fine herbs) instead of white onions and white wine ... 

4  Tbsp. unsalted butter
2  Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6  large red thinly sliced red onions
pinch of sugar
8  cups organic beef broth/stock
1  cup red wine
rosemary and thyme fresh or dried to taste
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
brandy or cognac

8  slices of Gruyere (swiss or favorite) cheese 
8  slices of good/firm bread like sourdough, 
trimmed to fit opening of soup crock
Extra-virgin olive oil

  • In large stockpot, melt butter and olive. Sauté sliced onions until well coated, cover and cook on low for 25 minutes or until soft.
  • Sprinkle onions with a bit of sugar. Raise heat and sauté, constantly turning, 30 minutes or so until well caramelized.
  • Add wine and stirring, deglaze bottom of pan. Bring to boil and add beef stock, herbs, salt & pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add generous glugs of brandy. Return to high heat, lower and simmer a bit for 3 minutes. (At this point you can either continue or cool and refrigerate ... actually, better to do ahead but again heat soup before continuing on with recipe). 
  • When ready to serve: Preheat oven to 350º. Place bread slices on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm. Ladle soup into individual serving oven-safe crocks and top with bread. Place cheese over bread, place in oven heat for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. If desired, place under broiler to finish or brown cheese. (Note: take care ... this is very HOT!) 


"January is the quietest month in the garden.  ...  But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening.  The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants.  The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."

~ Rosalie Muller Wright
 Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99


Nutty Gnome said...

I KNEW we were soul sisters! I ALWAYS use red onions and a goodly slosh of red wine for my French Onion Soup! :D

Gorgeous snowy montage Joey luv...still waiting on my (much promised by the weatherman) snow!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I do like red onions, bet this one is delicious!


imac said...

No show snow Jan here - great shots Joey.
See what Feb brings.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Mmmm...that onion soup look like it would be perfect for a wintery day. An excellent choice to accompany your snowy scenes!

Beth at PlantPostings said...

I remember by this time last year, we were tired of the snowy scenes, but I don't think that will happen this year. You images capture the pure beauty of simple snowy scenes. The soup sounds great!

Marysol said...

Did you hear that, querida Joey?
That was your photography taking my breath away.

Btw, I love a good french onion soup, but I've never made it with red onions, which sounds wonderful, as red onions are sweeter.
Genius you!

Rose said...

Beautiful collages, Joey! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am missing the snow this year.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Where did you get that snow from??!?!

Kala said...

Love your collage of wintry images Joey and the red onion soup sounds perfect for this time of year.

Donna@GWGT said...

You really have some beautiful winter shots and composed them so nicely into a mosaic. I love onion soup and your recipe sounds tasty, a must have.

Kerri said...

Hello dear Joey. Happy New Year a little late!
It's been a while since I've visited blog or done any posting. I've missed my blog friends and hope to get back to it soon.
Were your beautiful snowy photos taken this winter? We've seen very little snow so far in our neck of the woods. It's not like me to wish for snow, but I'm actually at that point! If we must have cold weather, then I prefer the beauty of snow to these browns, olive greens and grays that are rather dreary..and don't make for lovely photographs.
The French onion soup sounds delicious.