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Sunday, September 25, 2011

French Onion Soup (Soupe a l'Oignons)

It has been one of those weeks around here. Michael came home with yet another cold/upper respiratory infection. He was feeling so bad on Friday he actually canceled students. That's something he very, very rarely does.

So, since he had to work all day today I decided to make him something special for supper. He loves French Onion Soup and always is very excited when we dine out and the soup du jour happens to be French Onion. While he was home for lunch and napping I decided to run to the market and get the couple extra ingredients I needed to fix some for this evening.

This is one of those recipes that takes a fair amount of time but really is not that labor intensive. The biggest part of this is leaving your onions alone to caramelize. If you can manage to make yourself put them on and just walk away you've accomplished half the battle. Luckily for me the Clemson game happened to be on ESPN here in Arizona so I put on my onions and settled in to watch them take on FSU. (Go Tigers!)

Michael seemed to enjoy this version of the classic French Onion Soup despite the horrid cold so I hope you'll give it a try. It really is a great soup to have in your repertoire.

: French Onion Soup
: Caramelized onions, red wine and broth create a classic french soup!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere cheese

  1. Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Create a bouquet garni by tying together the bay leaves and thyme sprigs with a bit of kitchen twine. Add the onions, garlic, bouquet garni, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5-15 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni.
  2. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Add the beef broth and sherry, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10-20 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep the soup warm until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the shredded Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere covered baguette slices on top.

Alternative: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese. 

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: French

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