Monday, March 25, 2013

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is in my favorite "Top Five" soups.  I love it and order it when I'm out and make it at home.  But I don't think I've ever used the same recipe twice, from an all day affair including roasting beef bones, to quick and simple, and I've never been disappointed in a single batch I've made.

This one, for the most part, goes in the "quick and easy" category.  Except for caramelizing the onions...this recipe calls to cook the onions for two to three hours.  Actually, it works out very well because you can cook the onions early in the day and then put the soup together in the evening and your house won't smell like a batch of simmering onions (is that a bad thing?)

FRENCH ONION SOUP (4 servings)

1/4 cup butter
4 pounds onions, sliced (about 4 medium/large onions....I only use Sweet Onions)
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1/4 cup flour (rice flour for gluten-free)
1 cup red wine (or beef or vegetable broth + 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar)
3 cups beef or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
S&P to taste
4 1/2" thick slices of day old bread, toasted (I used slices of Panera whole-grain baguette)
1 cup gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the onions and cook slowly at low with the lid on until golden brown and caramelized, about 2-3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.  Drain excess liquid.

Raise the heat to medium, add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about 15 minutes.

Mix in the flour and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan.

Add the broth and bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the sliced bread and cheese.

Broiler until cheese melts, about 1-3 minutes.

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