Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state’s agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

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October brings onions, and KRCC’s Aaron Retka stopped by Shuga’s in Colorado Springs, where General Manager Drew LiVigni made some French onion soup.

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Click below for the vegetarian French onion soup from Drew LiVigni of Shuga’s in Colorado Springs, and for the Department of Agriculture’s recipe, a Three Onion Soup.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Drew LiVigni, Shuga’s in Colorado Springs

3 Large Yellow Onions
4 Tbls Butter
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Quarts water
3 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
5 cloves garlic
5-6 Bay leaves
1 Tbls. black peppercorn
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls. soy sauce
salt pepper to taste
toasted French bread or croutons
smoked mozzarella or other

Peel and chop onions in half, then slice into thin crescents. Toss onions in pot with melted butter and oil, stir and coat onions, and cover pot with aluminum foil for 15 minutes on medium heat.

In separate pot, chop carrots, celery and garlic and add to 3 Quarts of water. This will be the veg stock. Add peppercorns, bay leaf, red wine, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Bring water to boil and let simmer.

Remove foil from onions, add salt and pepper. Lower heat and cook onions for about an hour, stirring and adding water occasionally as needed. Caramelize the onions till they are chocolaty in color.

When onions are ready, separate ingredients from the stock and add onions. Simmer on low boil for two hours. (The longer the soup cooks, the richer in flavor). Add water as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Add more red wine and soy sauce if desired and simmer 5 – 10 more minutes to cook off alcohol.

Drink the rest of the wine to pass the time.

Ladle soup into oven-proof bowl, leaving room at the top. Lay toasted bread or croutons on soup and top with shredded cheese. Cook in oven, top shelf and broil, till cheese browns and begins to bubble.

Burn your clothes, as you will never get the smell of onions out.

Bon appetit!

Recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture:

Three Onion Soup
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., Valley Country Club, Aurora, Colo.
ACF Colorado Chefs Association President

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups Shallots, sliced
5 Large Red Onions, sliced
5 Large Yellow Onions, sliced
8 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thyme, dried
1 tsp. Chervil, dried
2 Bay Leaves
8 fl. oz. Cooking Sherry
1 gallon Cold Water
3 Beef Bouillon Cubes
3 Chicken Bouillon Cubes

Heat large pan, add oil and heat, then add shallots and onions and cook until caramelized. Add the garlic and sweat for 3 minutes. Add the herbs and sauté. Add water and bouillon cubes then bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until 1 gallon remains. Serve with melted Gruyere cheese and French baguette.


2 Responses to Mise en Place: Onions

  1. Mary H says:

    Oh man! I should not have read this before lunch. Now I’m really hungry!! Thanks for the recipe, sounds terrific.

  2. karen says:

    I made the vegetarian French onion soup this weekend and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe.


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