Contributed by: NAPSA
Sweet Onions Bring Smiles To Winter Meals (NAPSA) - Twenty-some years ago, two onion brokers were enjoying steaming bowls of Vidalia onion soup one spring day, when one said to the other, "Why can't we have delicious sweet onions like these in the winter?"
The perfect spot was found at the base of the Andes mountains in Chile, where the rich volcanic soil and ideal microclimate - warm days and cool nights - provide just the right conditions to produce a world-class sweet onion: The OsoSweet.
Twenty Years, No Tears
Back in 1989, Americans had a difficult time satisfying their cravings for sweet onions. The season was short - from spring to late summer - and outside of Georgia, where Vidalias are grown, or Texas, where the Texas 1015s call home, they were not easy to find.
While America was weathering the cold and snows of winter, it was summer and harvest time south of the equator. And the first OsoSweet onions arrived on American shores, bringing smiles to onion-loving Americans.
Now, 20 years later, you can enjoy sweet, tearless onions all year long, but the OsoSweet - in markets from January through March - is the most consistent sweet onion available anytime of year. No other onion is pampered like an OsoSweet, which is still shipped to markets throughout the country in sturdy wood crates.
Oh-So Good For You
Because of their flavor and versatility, onions are the most popular vegetable in the world. In fact, according to the National Onion Association, consumption of onions has practically doubled in the U.S. in the last 30 years, jumping from 11 pounds per person to 20-plus pounds per person. Sweet onions, such as the OsoSweet, now represent almost 30 percent of that total, and are growing.
Sweet onions are healthy and contain fiber, calcium, iron, several B vitamins, and more vitamin C than apples. They are rich in flavonoids that may reduce cholesterol, decrease tumor formation and inhibit certain types of cancers. They can also protect against heart disease. According to health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, they're one of 11 produce items "You don't have to buy organic."
Wintertime is OsoSweet onion time and soup time. Here you combine the two in a colorful and hearty wintertime soup full of chunky vegetables. Canned beans work quite well here; include their liquid, which is full of soluble fiber.
Place the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and rosemary in a large soup pot along with the olive oil. Heat together and cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until the cabbage is tender and the soup is lightly thickened. Serve piping hot in big bowls.
For more delicious sweet onion recipes, visit ososweetonions.com.
Serving Size: Makes 8 to 10 Servings
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