Onions are such staples in my cooking, I sometimes have to wonder how many of them I would ever chop and sauté in this lifetime. Probably thousands. My favorite trick to soften onions quickly: sautée in medium-high heat for 1 minute or so and then cover, turn heat to low, and just leave it there for 5–10 minutes. You can go off to chop other vegetables while it’s cooking, and before you know it, it starts to smell really, really good! This perfect yellow onion I ended up using in my Middle Eastern lentil rice.