Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Carabaccia -Sweet & Sour Onion Soup

Onion soups are a part of several cuisine with the French style being very famous.I came across the name 'carabaccia' meaning 'combination of simple things' while browsing and was interigued as to what it was.A search says 'Carabaccia is one of the classic Italian Onion soups. It is very simple to make though I found several complex version as well.The soup is from Tuscany,Florence and I adapted a simple version from here.The soup is really simple and for a crunchy twist uses blanched almonds.

Ingredients:
Olive Oil:1-2 tbsp
Onions: 2-3 medium size finely chopped


Almonds: 4 tbsp blanched
White Wine Vinegar:4-5 tbsp Cinnamon stick: 1+ inch long

Sugar
Salt
Vegetable Stock: 2 cup +

Preparation:
Peel and chop onions finely into long thin pieces.Blanch almonds by dipping them in boiling water for a minute and them draining them and rinsing them in cold/tap water and skinning them.Pat them dry with a paper towel.Crush the blanched almonds in a mortar and pestle lightly.

Soak the crushed almonds for about 1 hour along with cinnamon stick in the vinegar.You can increase the vinegar if you like more sourish soup.You can substitute the white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar.After an hour discard the cinnamon stick and drain the almonds.Rinse the almonds and keep aside.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan,saute onions till they become transparent.Add the drained and rinsed almonds,sugar,salt and veg stock/broth and bring to a boil.You can adjust the sugar as per taste.Cover and reduce and let it simmer for about 20 + minutes .Serve warm.



Normally it is served by ladling it over toasted bread slices and garnished with Gruyere cheese and optionally warming in the oven. But I served it as such.The soup is very oniony and little sweet and little sour due to the addition of vinegary almonds.The almonds add a crunch to the soup.

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