Waiting for Spring

I have been waiting for the weather to make up its mind but I think I am waiting in vain. Everyday is unlike the last in Tasmania. On Monday it was glorious and warm. We went to the beach!

Tuesday was wet. On Thursday it felt like a tornado set down in Hobart. I was nearly picked up and swept to the Antarctic. Friday was just cold. And Saturday was wet again. Technically we are in spring but the only real indication of a traditional spring down here is what is starting to pop up at the market. So, as the rain fell last night and Carlos braved the Mountain for a wet ride, I got to work in the kitchen. Since Sunday marks Daylight Savings in Tasmania, I thought I’d pay homage to winter produce one last time before we can fully embrace spring (I’m sure if I put my mind to it, the weather will stay warm and sunny).

I just finished reading An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler and have been thinking about onion soup since her poetic description of this poor man’s dish. Tamar writes beautifully about how to find fortune deep in the heart of your pantry. I picked up her book back in San Francisco when I was doing my pantry challenge and now that we are on a tight budget, I keep turning back to it.

As Tamar commands, I dusted off the bag of onions I picked up at the market, sliced them up and caramelized them in butter, olive oil, a pinch of sugar, a touch of salt and a sprig of rosemary. When Carlos got home about an hour later, freezing and dripping wet, the smell of sweet, golden onions welcomed him into the warm kitchen. I then added the lamb broth I made from last Sunday’s chops as well as a bit of wine from my glass. When we were ready to eat, I ladled the soup over some stale sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and we offered a toast to spring.

Onion Soup from An Everlasting Meal

2 cups caramelized onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon flour
1 tablespoon wine
4 cups broth (I used lamb)
stale bread

Cook the onions in a big pot with butter and olive oil over medium-low heat with a pinch of sugar, salt and branch of rosemary for an hour. When the onions are done they will melt completely into a golden jam. Add the flour and stir it through the caramelized onions. Add the wine and let it cook off for 20 seconds. Add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Toast thick slices of stale bread with garlic. Ladle the hot soup over the toast.

To accompany the soup I roasted baby potatoes in lamb fat

The hungry boy.

A classic spring dessert: rhubarb compote served with Tassie goat milk and fresh walnuts.


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