I am a reluctant gardner, not one for it. I am lazy, I don't like to try my hand at something like that too much. My father-in-law planted a bed of vegetables and each time something sprouted, I would watch it break free of the soil and then wilt a bit. I'd rip it off on my way to to visit the chickens. But it became a responsibility, one that meant we would sometimes walk out the bed and pick some lettuce for a salad for dinner. Or, other times, when the plastic fence would bend from a gust of wind, I would go outside and right the bamboo stick holding it all together.
It's become another part of our lives here. I wrote about that all before and not much has changed in the last 4 months since then. The chickens have grown, we are a little less in debt, but still the garden bed remained the same - sometimes full and sometimes empty.
I have never had a garden to tend, so I thought, when I saw all the green shoots wilt and die, that I would take the fence down for the winter and build the beds somewhere else for the spring. And so I did, keeping the fencing for another use around the farm, storing it in the musty tack room of the barn. Three days later, Elsa dug into the bed, fresh dirt and virgin digging ground probably felt good against her paws.
On the fourth day, she began to stick her nose in the dirt, sneezing and gnawing at something I couldn't see. Elsa is a hitter, she pets you back. And the next day, I smelled the distinctly allium scent of onion.
I had forgotten about these, so hidden underground from my eyes. I had forgotten to till the ground and check for anything left. And when I did, in my work clothes, hunched over a muddy bed, I discovered so many left behind. So many pristine, aromatic layers. For an hour I washed them all and the rest of the night I dreamed about what to make.
And finally I decided on soup. Because it's November now and we need to stay warm.
French Onion Soup and Yorkshire Pudding
This soup is simple. Really. And delicious. We ate it all in a day. For the Yorkshires, this was my first foray into them, but I loved dunking their airy, crispy bodies into the brothy soup. A little cheese wouldn't hurt this recipe one bit.
Ingredients for French Onion Soup:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6 medium-sized onions, sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 6 cup quality beef broth
- 2 cup quality chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 TB balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
- 2 sprigs thyme (can wrap in cheese cloth for easy removal)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (may require more, depends on your broth)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding:
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 TB canola oil
Directions for French Onion Soup:
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter and cook onions on medium-high for ten minutes or until translucent and slightly browned on the edges
- Deglaze with wine. Simmer to reduce wine to a half cup
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes, removing lid after 20 minutes
- Remove thyme, serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container
Directions for Yorkshire Pudding:
- Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, and salt until well-combined
- Allow to rest in fridge for 30 minutes
- While batter is resting, preheat oven to 400*F and grease a standard sized muffin tin with oil
- Place greased tin in oven to get hot
- When batter is done resting, divide evenly into your hot, oiled in
- Bake around 15 minutes or until golden and puffed
- Eat immediately. They will deflate if left too long.