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Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook: How to Feed a Family

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Ceri Marsh from the popular blog Sweet Potato Chronicles talks to Margaret about her blog turned cookbook: How to Feed a Family. Hear about making simple, healthy meals for a busy family and listen in as she and Margaret make a quick and easy French onion soup at Barbara Jo's Books To Cooks. For the French onion soup recipe click "read more". Saturday after the 8:30am news.
Deconstructed French Onion Soup
By Ceri Marsh
Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 40 minutes; Makes 4 servings


Growing up, we'd know we were having a fancy dinner if my mom pulled out the handled French onion soup bowls.  It's got to be one of the most satisfying meals I know, but it's not always the easiest thing for small kids to manage.  So I decided to make that big piece of melted cheese and bread into more kid-friendly croutons.  I don't know if my kids think of this dish as fancy, but we all love it on a winter weekend.

Ingredients:

2 onions

2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp (10 ml) sugar

1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh thyme, leaves picked off the stems

Salt and pepper

1 Tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar

4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken stock

½ baguette

½ cup (125 ml) shredded gruyere

½ cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

Trim the ends off the onions and peel off the skins.  Cut each onion in half lengthwise.  Lie each half flat on a cutting board and then cut the thinnest slices you can.  Depending on the size of the onions, you might even want to cut the slices in half.  In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, sugar, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Give it all a good stir and let sweat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  The onions will become very soft and caramelized but don't let them get too dark.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to make sure they all get coated.  Now add the vinegar and 1 cup (250 ml) of the stock.  Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to lift up any delicious bits stuck there.  Add the rest of the stock.  Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Set the oven to broil.  Cut your baguette into 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices.  Lay the bread on a baking sheet.  Mix the two cheeses together and sprinkle a layer of cheese over each piece of bread.  Pop the baking sheet under the broiler on the top rack and keep an eye on it.  You want the cheese to bubble and the bread to turn golden but it will happen fast.  Pull the bread out and allow to cool a bit before cutting each piece of bread into 1 inch (2.5 cm) squared chunks.  Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the cheesey croutons and serve.

From:  How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook
By:  Laura Keogh & Ceri Marsh
Published by Appetite by Random House
Re-printed with permission
Broadcast on CBC Radio's North by Northwest Cooking Club www.cbc.ca/nxnw

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