French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Yesterday, I was craving French Onion Soup. I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen (duh) and luckily, we had most of the ingredients except wine, broth, and swiss cheese. After work, I swung by the grocery store, picked up what I needed, and I was ready to go. I halved the recipe, but I’ll give you the original in case you’re cooking for more than just two people (but half was the perfect amount for me and Jonah).

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds (5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon table salt (or less)
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock (mushroom stock is a good vegetarian substitute)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups (to taste) grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
Butter
Crusty bread, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces toasted until hard

Instructions

Melt the butter and oil together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, tossing to coat them in the butter/oil, and spread them so they cover the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat and let the onions cook, covered, for 15 minutes. You don’t need to stir them during this step.

After 15 minutes, turn up the heat a little bit and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook them for 30-40 minutes until they have become a lovely golden brown, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. Yes, 30 minutes seems like a long time to stir onions, but allowing them to caramelize well will make for really nice flavor later on and will make the soup taste much more complex and, well, just better.

Once the onions are browned, add the flour, stirring it in well, and cook for another 3 minutes. Now add the wine (all at once) and the stock, a bit at a time, stirring between additions. Add a little salt and pepper. Be sure not to over-salt! The stock is plenty salty and the cheese on the gratinée is plenty salty, so don’t overdo it now. Once the stock is all in, bring the pot to a simmer and let is cook, partially covered, for another 30-40 minutes. And stir in the cognac if you’re using it.

Now for the gratinée. Jonah and I didn’t follow instructions, but rather chose to just try out our own process and see if it worked. It did. Turn on your broiler (we put ours on high). Pour the soup into oven safe bowls, and stir in about 1 Tbl of the cheese. Toast whatever bread your using (we used the bread I made in the previous post) until it’s hard. Butter the toast, and set it afloat on the soup. Now put on as much cheese as your little heart desires. We probably did 1/3 of a cup per bowl of soup. Put the bowls on a foil-lined baking sheet, and pop it in the oven. I watched the soups in the oven, and when the cheese was bubbling and starting to turn golden brown, I pulled them out of the oven. Be careful as the bowls will be HOT. Put them on plates and warn whoever is eating them not to touch the bowl, only the plate. Serve and enjoy!

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