Saturday, December 7, 2013

French Onion Soup

French onion soup is one of my very favorite soups.  And I don't make it often enough.  And I don't think I've ever used the same recipe but have never, ever been disappointed.

This is one of the first recipes I ever tried, but when I originally made it I followed the recipe to make my own beef stock.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but took quite a while to make, not to mention difficult to find the bones to use given we now live in a society where meat markets are hard to find, unless you live in a large city like New York.  So this time I settled on beef broth found in the soup aisle with a very respectable result.

Also, since this was kind of on the fly, I shredded the Swiss cheese I had in my cheese drawer instead of making a special trip to the store for Gruyere.  Regardless, it's a lucious winter soup (winter?????  no.....any time of the year) that pairs well with a simple green salad.  Plan need to let the onions initially simmer for about an hour.  In fact, you can make this ahead of time, the morning or day before serving, and then just reheat at serving time.

FRENCH ONION SOUP (4 servings)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 pounds yellow onions, sliced 1/4" into half circles
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp AP flour
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 cups beef broth
2 tsp fresh thyme
S&P to taste
1/2" slices baguette for the crouton
8 oz Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated (about 3 cups)

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium-low heat.  Add onions.  Spread them out in as thin a layer as possible.  Spinkle with sugar and cook, stirring just as needed to keep onoins from sticking until soft, golden brown, and beginning to caramelize, about one hour.

Sprinkle flour over onions and stir to coat.  Add sherry, stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer.

Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine.  Season with S&P to taste.

Meanwhile, lightly toast baguette slices under broiler; set aside.  Ladle hot soup into four ovenproof bowls.  Arrange bowls on a baking pan.  Place 1-2 slices of bread on each soup bowl.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges.  Watch carefully so the edges don't burn.  Serve immediately.

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