Zuppa di Cipolle

from Christina Pirello

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A great starter course for any special occasion feast that will satisfy your plant-passionate and meat lovers alike.

Makes 4-5 servings

Extra virgin olive oil
5 large yellow onions, cut into thin half moons
˝ cup red wine
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
4-5 cups spring or filtered water
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
5 slices thickly sliced whole grain bread
2-3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, coarsely chopped

Place about 5 tablespoons oil and onions in a large soup pot over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add red wine and syrup and sauté until the onions just wilt. Cover the pot and cook over low heat stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Pour in broth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and return to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

While the soup cooks, heat a small amount of oil in a flat-bottomed skillet over medium heat and quickly toast the bread on both sides.

To serve, lay a slice of bread in 4-5 individual bowls and ladle soup over top. Serve garnished with fresh basil.