I’ve been suffering from a cold for about 5 weeks now. It’s been so long since I could breathe through my nose that I’m starting to forget what that feels like. Of course this also means that my sense of taste is completely off. I’ve had to step up my flavour game in a big way because I want to remember what food tastes like.
Cooking with lots of herbs, strong wines, and salty ingredients generally does the trick. Throw them into a soup and it makes a cold a bit more tolerable, if only for a brief moment in time.
The red onions give this soup a sweetness that is cut really well by the gruyere. The fennel adds a bit of depth with hints of licorice. The broth, a beautiful deep red colour, is rich and bold with wine, and becomes well-rounded once the herbs have stewed.
Did that make me sound like an asshole?
- 3 large red onions, sliced
- 2 large fennel bulbs, sliced
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 4 cups vegetable stock or beef stock
- 1 bulb garlic, minced
- 1.5 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup gruyere, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Heat oil and butter over medium low heat in a large stock pot. Add onions, fennel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, and 1 cup of wine. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions and fennel soften and shrink down.
Add the stock, the remaining wine, and bring the heat up to boil. Bring the heat back down to simmer and cook, covered, for another 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to high broil. Top bowls with 3-4 slices of gruyere each and place in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
Serves 4 – 6.