Cooking for Comfort
Tonight, I made homemade French onion soup for the first time, and I gotta say, it was fabulous.
While I love French onion soup, I so rarely order it out — if anything, I’ll take a taste of my husband’s; it’s just simply too rich for me to have a whole bowl of on my own.
And while I’d heard it was easy to make, I’d never done it — til now.
Today was one of those cold, dreary, drizzly Michigan days where you just didn’t want to leave the house, and soup sounded like a perfect meal.
I knew my mom, dad and sister were making French onion soup back home in New Jersey, and I was already feeling pretty homesick and sad about us not all being together for the holiday.
Making the same exact soup seemed to be a tie that would bond us across the miles. So off to the grocery store I went, buying the little Corningware soup dishes, beef broth, and a ginormous onion to make the soup (we had French bread and Swiss cheese, coincidentally, at home already).
My mom was right — it was a cinch to make, and it was absolutely delicious.
Here’s her recipe.
Sue’s Simple French Onion Soup: Serves 4
1 whole onion, sliced very thin
4 cans of reduced-sodium beef broth
splash of white wine
a few baby carrots and/or celery (for flavoring — you don’t have to serve it with that)
crusty French bread, cut into thin rounds
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Swiss or Gruyère or similar cheese
Sautee onions in a little olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Move onions from pan to a pot, with beef broth, wine, carrots and/or celery. Cook (covered) on medium heat for 30-45 min. (depending on your stovetop this will vary) stirring every so often. Salt to taste.
When soup is almost done, drizzle bread rounds with olive oil and toast lightly in toaster oven. Then add soup (minus carrots and/or celery, unless you want them in there; we left ours in) to small Corningware bowls. Top soup with grated Parmesan, bread rounds and add a layer of cheese. Broil or bake at 400 for 5-10 min. or until cheese is bubbly. Serve!
The result? My husband and I both loved it, and I’ll definitely be making it again. It didn’t take much time at all, and paired with a simple salad, it really hit the spot on a chilly November evening.
In addition to hitting the spot, I’d also like to share that tonight was one of those nights where food was a comfort in a good way: it was made with love, savored, and enjoyed. It gave pleasure; it wasn’t abused or over-thought. It just “was.”
And there’s something really wonderful about that, especially when you come from a disordered eating background. While for most people, that’s the way life is/should be lived … moments like these are genuine progress for me, guiding me on the path to “normalcy.”
I think the next time we host a dinner party, this soup will need to make an appearance on the menu … I’ll just need more of those cute little bowls. 😉
How about you? Is there a certain food that brings you comfort? If you’ve struggled with food issues in the past, is there a food you’d like to try again, or one you’ve been able to incorporate back into your life that you’d like to share?