I'm definitely on the "Take Five Ingredients" mood these days. Cooking with a small baby is possible, of course, but I haven't got the time or energy to think up elaborate menus and spend hours in front of the hob these days. Nor do I want it, to be honest. Simple, comforting, delicious dishes are much more attractive - and feasible - at the moment.
Here's a very simple and delicious and comforting soup recipe for these cold wintry nights. (Yes, there's still snow out here, even if the days have got a lot longer and there's definitely spring in the air during the daytime).
Silky Onion Soup
50 g butter
500 g onions
2 tsp sugar
1 l / 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
200 ml (just under a cup) whipping cream
1 to 2 Tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
salt and white pepper, to taste
grated hard cheese
fresh chives, chopped
Peel the onions, halve and cut into slices.
Heat a heavy saucepan and melt the butter in the pan. Add onion slices and sauté on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the onions and softened and slightly caramelised. Do not burn them! Add sugar after about 7 minutes, stir.
When onions are softened, then pureé them with an immersion/stick/hand-held blender until smooth. (For an especially smooth result, press the onion pureé through a sieve).
Return the onion pureé into the saucepan, add the stock and bring into a boil.
Mix the flour with the cream and stir into the soup base. Simmer gently until the soup has thickened slightly (the flour does it).
Taste for seasoning, add salt and white pepper, if necessary.
To serve, ladle the soup into warm bowls, scatter over croutons and chopped chives and grate some cheese on top.