Tuesday, June 9, 2015

French onion soup

So what do you do when you accidentally buy two bags of 5 pound onions in one week?  You find recipes that are onion based so you don't waste those onions.  This recipe was the first that came to mind, and it was so delicious that I ate it for several days AND had enough to freeze two servings for another day.

French onion soup
 {French onion soup}

 {the plain soup on the left and covered with cheese on the right}

French onion soup
from smitten kitchen

makes 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts beef broth (use a mushroom broth for a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cognac or brandy

1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 to 2 cups a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
12 to 16 1-inch thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard
  1. Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes
  2. After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown. Don’t skimp on this step, as it will build the complex and intense flavor base that will carry the rest of the soup.
  3. After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  4. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed. Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness. 
  5. Stir in the cognac. 
  6. Preheat oven to 325. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Divide the soup among six bowls. 
  7. To each bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Stir to combine. 
  8. Dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and float a few on top of your soup bowls, attempting to cover it. 
  9. Mound grated cheese on top of it; how much you use will be up to you (I recommend 1/4 cup for each bowl).
  10. Bake soups on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler. 
  11. Finish for a minute or two under the broiler to brown the top lightly. 
  12. Grab pot holders, and serve immediately.
Although it does take some work, this would be an excellent recipe for a dinner party since the soup can be made ahead of time then easily reheated/cheesed (yes-that's a verb) with little fuss on your part.  Have you ever had French onion soup?

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