March 22, 2011

Slightly Different French Onion Soup

Yesterday we woke up to 3" of very heavy, wet snow.

Yup, it was 70 on Friday and 25 on Monday. A good day for a bowl of hot, cheesy soup.

The Nudge always requests French Onion Soup so I always have the ingredients in my pantry.

Once you make a French Onion Soup you personally like, you will never use a recipe again.

I like a mixture of Gruyere, Fontina and Parmesan cheese melted on the top.

Mine is a little different in the technique because I caramelize 1 large onion in butter and after adding the wines, broths and flavorings, I add another raw, sliced onion. I find that while the caramelized onion adds that great depth of sweetness and onion they tend to disintegrate by the time you are ready to eat. I add the raw onion for texture. Oh, it is still soft and sweet, it just holds it's shape.

This recipe is subject to taste, add more of what you like and omit what you don't. Taste always along the way, after each ingredient and after every 20 minutes of cooking. Food changes once you change it.

French Onion Soup
makes 2 large crocks
* 1 large sweet onion, french cut (about 2 cups)
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 fresh bay leave or 2 dried ones
* 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 1 tbls fresh
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1/2 cup chicken stock
* 2 cups good quality beef stock (not broth(
* 1 tsp tomato paste in a tube
* 4oz apple juice
* 3 tbls dry sherry
* 1 small onion, french cut
* 6 (1/2") slices of a semolina roll, toasted
* 2oz each of gruyere, fontina and parma cheese, grated

Saute large onion slices in butter on low for 30 minutes, until they are caramelized. Add wines and reduce until almost all liquid has evaporated.
Add tomato paste and bay leaves and stir.
Add stocks and apple juice.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Add small onion slices and dry sherry and simmer, uncovered, until onion is translucent and soft.

In an over-proof crock place one slice of bread into bottom of each.
Add soup to 1/2" of rim. Place 2 slices side-by-side on top and add cheese mixture in the amount you would like.
I mound it as high as it will go without falling all down the sides.
Place in a broiler until melty and just beginning to brown.

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