Tuesday, January 21, 2014

French Onion Soup

I feel like this soup doesn't need much of a preface.  It's a wonderful soup.  Everyone in my family loved it.  It's happiness in a bowl and not nearly as complicated as I remembered french onion soup years ago when I made it.  This was simple to make, most of the prep time was slicing onions.  Other than that, it was just a couple of hours of happiness as our house was permeated with the aroma of onions and beef.  What a wonderful winter Sunday afternoon.

Love. this. soup.  Need to make it again soon.  Thanks Deb! (of Smitten Kitchen)

Serves 4 - 6.  Maybe.

French Onion Soup
from Smitten Kitchen.com

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced yellow onions
3 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/4 t sugar
3 T flour
1/2 c dry white wine (optional)
2 qts beef stock

Optional for serving:
crusty bread, toasted
Gruyere or swiss cheese, grated

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a Dutch oven over med-low heat (4 or 5 on my stove).  Add the onions, toss them to coat them in butter/oil and cover the pot.  Reduce the heat to low (2 on my stove) and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.  Ignore them.  Don't peek.  After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat (to a 4 or so), and stir in the salt and sugar.  Cook the onions, stirring frequently for 30 - 40 minutes, until the have turned a nice brown.  This is the caramelization.  Don't rush this step (don't rush any of these steps in fact).  The slowness of the process is what gives the soup its wonderful flavor.

Once the onions are caramelized, stir in the flour and cook briefly.  Stir in the wine if using.  Add the stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes.  If you are using homemade beef stock, you may have foam float to the top.  You can skim that off for a clearer broth.

Enjoy.  For a fancy meal, put a piece of crusty toasted bread in the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle with gruyere and place under the broiler for a few minutes.  I'm scared of my broiler, so I simply cut my crusty bread into croutons and sprinkle grated Gruyere over top and enjoy.

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