French onion soup

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Happy New Year!  Here’s a nice, warming bowl of soup to enjoy on a day like today, when it’s snowing non-stop and unlikely to stop for a few hours.  This is a lovely  dish to enjoy after spending some quality time outside shoveling the driveway.  It takes a bit of time to make, which means it’s perfect for making on the weekend or on a holiday (like today).

French Onion Soup

Yields about 8 servings

Ingredients

1  1/2 pounds (5 cups) yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 quart beef stock
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground pepper

Topping

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 to 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 day-old baguette, sliced into 1- inch rounds

Method

  1. Melt butter and oil together in a heavy-bottomed pot (I used a 4-quart cast-iron Dutch oven) over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions to the pot and toss to coat with oil/butter.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow onions to cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-low (or so), uncover pot, add the salt and sugar, then cook onions for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they have turned a deep golden brown in color.  Stir frequently.
  4. After onions have caramelized, sprinkle with flour and cook for 3 minutes; stir continuously here.
  5. Add the wine to deglaze, then add both types of stock.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover pot, and allow soup to cook for another 30 or 40 minutes.
  7. Before soup is done, preheat the broiler to 425 degrees F (I have an electric stove – not ideal, I know – and I place my oven rack in the top position for this, since my broiler element is located at the top of my oven).
  8. When soup has finished simmering, ladle it into oven-safe bowls, and float baguette slices on top.  Top each slice of bread with a dab of butter and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese.  Place bowls on a rimmed cookie sheet and broil in oven for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is browned in spots (we do 2 bowls at a time, since there are 2 of us – but more will fit on the baking sheet, if needed).
  9. Bowls are hot!  Serve immediately (leftovers will keep for a few days in the refrigerator – the next day, we just reheat the soup on the stovetop, ladle into bowls, assemble with baguette/cheese, broil, and enjoy).
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