30.30 #15: new recipe onion soup


Task #15 of 30in30 is to try a new recipe.

Mum felt like onion soup so she bought a ton of onions. I don’t like onions so I usually relegate it to a flavouring as a component in mirepoix. Although IIRC I never made onion soup, I don’t think it’s something that requires a recipe. I mean, cook the onions, add liquid and simmer, right?


There’s a good discussion about the various methods for making onion soup. The type of onions to use, how long to caramelise the onions (from Michel Roux Jr’s 30-40mins to Thomas Keller’s 5 hours), the type of stock, additional seasoning (balsamic) and even what alcohol to add (cider, brandy).

Here’s what I did. I chopped 6 large onions and cooked them in butter for about 1.5hrs. I stirred like crazy towards the end, and left the lid off to reduce the liquid and break down the onion further. Most recipes call for beef stock which I didn’t have, I compromised by adding about 100g total of cubed beef with the onions.

After 1.5hrs the onions were soft and mushy and turned a nice medium brown. I then added vegetable stock I had in the freezer. Brought the whole lot to a boil and kept at a rolling boil for 20mins. Seasoned with s&p, thyme, worcestershire sauce, a dash of balsamic and soy sauce. Recipes tend not to include worcestershire or soy sauce, but they are my secret ingredients for adding umami to soups.

The cheese toast was made from baguette and shredded cheese. Proper cheeses like gruyere or comteé are simply too expensive and difficult to find so I used processed, sigh. I toasted the croutons on both sides before melting the cheese on top. Sprinkled more cheese onto the soup.

I was fairly pleased with the results. A tad too watery, I could have done with another 10-15mins reduction at the end, or taken half the soup and blitzed it. Still not a fan of onions.

30in30 challenge — march 2015


My friend R asked if I wanted to do another challenge or take a break; it’d be 3 months in a row. The Europe trip starts the second half of the month and doing challenges on holiday can be, well, challenging. But that’s why they are called challenges, right? (I’m thinking an editor will frown at this paragraph, with so many instances of challenges, snerk.)

Switching to the 30.30 format. I am fully aware that march has 31 days, but I’m keeping the tag as 30.30, and given myself one day with no required task. I’ve listed more photography challenges than usual because: a) I find I’m doing photo-a-day type challenges anyway; b) I’ll have more opportunities to take pictures.



  1. run/walk/bike 60mins
  2. run/walk/bike 90mins
  3. take the stairs
  4. weights/trx/resistance band
  5. do more than one type of exercise
  6. do something relaxing
  7. sleep early
    food & drink

  9. 3 different vegetables in a day
  10. 3 different fruits in a day
  11. no red meat day
  12. no alcohol day
  13. no snack day
  14. new food
  15. new drink
  16. new recipe
    looking inward

  18. gratitude for the day
  19. keep calm and…
  20. participate in prayer or service
  21. say a prayer for family
  22. silent retreat

  24. 10 photos: a colour
  25. 10 photos: a shape
  26. 10 photos: directions
  27. 10 photos: loud
  28. 10 photos: morning
  29. 10 photos: next to me
  30. 10 photos: numbers
  31. 10 photos: old
  32. 10 photos: people
  33. 10 photos: water

  35. rest day — no challenges today