I’ve wanted to make carabaccia ever since I found out it was
the ancient ancestor of French onion soup. Not only is that an interesting
fact, but it’s also a great addition to your dinner party conversation
repertoire, especially where there are French chefs involved.
Okay, now let’s talk cinnamon. The safe play is to not add
any, and live happily ever after. However, in very, very small amounts, it
really does add a mysterious, wonderfully warming background note that you actually
might enjoy. There’s only one way to find out, but please proceed with caution.
Too much will render the soup inedible, and there’s really no way to know what
“too much” is.
As I mentioned in the video, if you want to cut down on the stirring,
you can cook the onions in a roasting pan. Just pop them in a 325 F. oven until
they’re done, stirring a few times along the way. How long exactly is anyone’s
guess, but just like the stove-top method, take your time, and wait until they
are very soft.
So, whether you’re a culinary history buff like me, and want
to taste what French onion soup tasted like 500 years ago, or it’s freezing
outside, and a steaming bowl of something delicious sounds good, or both, I
really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 6 Portions:
4 pounds red onions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 sage leaves, plus more for toast
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
very tiny pinch of cinnamon*
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
5-6 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
For the toast:
3 thick slices Italian bread, halved
dress with olive oil, sage and grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
– Toast in a 400 F. oven for 15 minutes or until browned.
* While traditional, many people don’t enjoy the effect
cinnamon has on the sweetness of the soup, so you may want to omit it, or add
an extremely small amount, and then adjust from there. You can also make the
soup without any, and then experiment by adding a trace amount to a small sample
cup, and see what you think.