Ryan *loves* French Onion Soup, so yesterday when he was feeling a little bit sick I wanted to make him some to cheer him up. But I didn't want to wait three hours for the onions to slow-sautee, and I needed it to be a full dinner, not just an appetizer. So I made up this recipe (or mashed it together out of several other recipes :)), and he liked it! It has meat, which is a plus for him, and pasta, which is a plus for me.
The whole thing only took me about half an hour, and it's pretty flexible (so you can use whatever kind of pasta you want, and change out the meatballs for a different recipe if you have a favorite, etc.). The actual soup recipe is based loosely on the French Onion Soup recipe from Nourishing Traditions, and the meatballs at this point are out of my head.
Everyday French Onion Soup (serves two very hungry people)
8 oz pasta (I had some brown rice shells on hand -- yummy)
For the meatballs
1/4 lb hamburger
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp milk (I just splash it in)
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Some ground black pepper
For the soup
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 cups stock or broth (chicken or beef, both taste good)
1 tsp arrowroot powder, or 1/2 tsp cornstarch, mixed with the same amount of water
Salt to taste
A handful of your favorite cheese (we used a vintage cheddar that we got as a present)
1. Start the pasta water to boiling, and then cook your pasta. When it is done, drain, and toss with a bit of butter, and a little bit of the cheese that you're going to use as a garnish.
2. While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil, put the hamburger, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, basil, salt, garlic, and pepper into a mid-size bowl, and mix it all up well with your hands. This is a little wetter than my usual meatball mixture...you can fix it if you want, but it really turns out fine. :)
3. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat, until the oil shimmers. Form your meatball mixture into the size of meatballs that you like, and drop them into the saute pan. Let brown on all sides, and then remove them to a dish to wait for the rest of the soup.
4. If your pan needs more oil, add a little more. Then saute the onion slices in the same pan you used for the meatballs, until they're soft and golden (still over medium heat, so it shouldn't take too long!).
5. Add the stock and the arrowroot mix to the onions, and turn the burner up to medium high. Once the stock boils, add the meatballs back to the pan and let them simmer in the broth for a minute or two.
6. By this time, your pasta really should be done! I hope you've kept an eye on it.
7. Serve the soup over the pasta, with a little bit of cheese on top.
If you make this, leave a comment, because I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!