I love old magazines. Especially the one’s like Peterson’s or Godby’s magazines. The fashion plates are fun to look at and marvel how women lived in those times when they had to wear 14 tons of clothing in the sake of fashion.
This Brown Onion Soup recipe was in the January 1859 issue of Peterson’s magazine. I happen to have had a couple of bound editions of these magazines, and it is a great deal of fun to read through all the interesting home remedies and the old recipes, which can take some time to translate into modern cooking terms. As you can guess, this sounds pretty much like French onion soup. I imagine you could change the taste of this soup greatly depending on what onions you used. Imagine Vidalias in spring, or even doing this with leeks. Spanish onions, Walla Walla, shallots even. The possibilities are endless.
Brown Onion Soup
Skin and cut in slices six large onions; fry them in butter till they are a nice brown and very tender, then lay them on a hair-sieve to draw out the butter. When drained, put them in a pot with five quarts of boiling water, boil them one hour, and stir frequently; then add pepper and salt to your liking, with some crumbs of bread rubbed through a colander; still it well to keep it from being in lumps, and boil it two hours more. Ten minutes before you serve the soup, beat the yolks of two eggs with two spoonfuls of vinegar, and a little of the soup, and pour it into the rainder of the soup by degrees, stirring it all the time one way. If you choose, you can add a few cloves. This is a fine soup and will keep three or four days.