Monday, October 24, 2011

French Onion Soup

Mmmm, onion soup. I could eat bowl after bowl of this stuff. With the dropping temperatures, soup season has officially started and I thought the best way to kick it off was by making a big bowl of French onion soup. It's one of those classic soups that I never get sick of, which is probably party due to the fact that there is delicious melted cheese on top. When this soup was made, three of us managed to finish off the pot, and we could have probably all gone for more (yes, it was that good). This soup tastes like it is made at a fancy French restaurant, but in reality all it takes are some basic ingredients.

I have to confess that when I first put these soups under the broiler, they were in pretty hideous ramekins (see photo below) and I could not imagine that being the final picture of this soup. While in the process of transferring the soup into a mug, the bread sort of drowned and the cheese was hidden under onions. So don't worry, yours will probably look like a real French onion soup, unlike mine. Also, for recipes like this, I usually use up any bottle of red wine that I have lying around.

Recipe from Melissa d'Arabian
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
4 yellow onions (about 1 3/4 pounds), thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to season soup
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
4 one-inch thick slices crusty French bread, like a baguette

Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the onions to the pot and sprinkle with some salt. If you have a powerful stove and find that medium-low is cooking the onions too quick, turn the heat down even more. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the onions are caramelized and brown, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat to medium and sprinkle the flour over the onions. Mix and cook another 2 minutes. Add the red wine and deglaze the pot. Add the thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, and stocks. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste the soup to see if you need any additional salt and pepper.

If you want to have the french onion soup look with cheese melting over everything, ladle the soup into 4 ovenproof bowl or ramekins. Turn your broiler on high. Place a slice of bread over each bowl of soup. Mix the 2 cheese together and distribute evenly between the bowls. Put each bowl under the broiler until the cheese melt, for about 1 minute. Serve hot. If you do not have ovenproof bowl, place the sliced bread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle it with cheese (but not too much that your baking sheet becomes a cheesy mess) and broil it for a minute. Place the cheesy bread over each soup. Pin It Now!

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