That wooden spoon in the mouth trick really does take the edge off of slicing onions. It’s the ethylsufine that makes your eyes water. This chemical is released when you break the membrane of the onion cells that keeps a certain enzyme and sulfur compounds separate. The two mix and hence the sobbing begins. Onions go in just about everything. Imagine life without onions. We would have sad stews, sad soups, sad non-onion rings, no mirepoix, sautés would be dull, lonely beef, lonely chicken, guacamole without that certain special something… And french onion soup would be reduced to french soup. Not to mention what would happen to all of those french onion dips: sad chips.
But that’s someone else’s life, not mine. Inspired by what Nathan made for Nicole (a geophysicist who cooks – you have to love that!) I revisted an old favorite tonight. I use regular onions, not sweet onions, because sweet onions taste bizarre to me in this soup and the sugars that already exist in the regular onions get somewhat caramelized anyway.
slice onions (cry); heat butter in pan, sauté onions