Wednesday, January 4, 2012

French Onion Soup


Ahhh...French Onion Soup. You either love it or hate it - there's no middle ground when it comes to this onion-y concoction. I happened to be one of those people that adores onions so this soup is right up my alley.   Plus, the fact that I grew up on it kind of helps. I remember my dad used to make this soup when I was younger and it was always a treat. I've since gone on to make my own version and it's just as good. It takes some time to make because you have to carmelize the onions for optimal flavor, but it's definitely worth it.


If you have a mandoline, this is the perfect time to use it!

Be sure to carmelize the onions,slowly, to release all their natural sweetness.
Brown the meat until you get a nice, crisp coating.

Make sure you share because you never know who will take a liking to this onion soup. My son wanted to try some from my bowl so I gave him a spoonful. I expected him to make a funny face and say he didn't like it, but to my surprise, he said in his cute, little two year old voice, "Mommy, I yuv this soup!" I guess it's a keeper!



I've posted this recipe how it's traditionally served - with melted Swiss or Gruyere cheese that is broiled until bubbly with a crusty piece of bread or croutons. The cheese adds a nice saltiness, but I don't always use it or the bread. I actually really like the soup plain because it has such a deep, rich flavor by itself that the cheese and bread can be a little overpowering at times. It's personal preference though, so cheese/bread away if you so please! 


French Onion Soup
6 servings (About 1 1/3 c each)

Ingredients

 1 TB butter
 1 TB oil
 4 large onions, sliced
 1/2 tsp kosher salt
 1/4 lb stew meat
 1 TB flour
 4 cups beef broth
 2 cups water
 1/4 c red wine
 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
 Toasted French bread, baguette slices, or croutons and slices of Swiss or Gruyere Cheese (or some shredded) for serving

Directions

1. Heat butter and oil in large stock pot.
2. Add onions, stir in salt, and cover. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Remove lid, increase heat to med-low and cook onions for about 30-45 minutes more, stirring frequently, until tender, cooked down, and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add meat to pot and cook over med-high heat for about a minute or until browned. Stir in flour and cook for another minute, stirring almost continuously.
5. Add broth, a little at a time, scraping the bottom of the pot to get everything that may be stuck. Stir in water and wine.
6. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Add Worcestershire sauce and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.


To serve

1. Preheat broiler on high setting.
2. Place oven safe bowls on foil-lined baking sheet and ladle soup into bowls. Leave about an inch of space at the top.
3. Place some bread slices or croutons in the bowl then top with the cheese.
4. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden.

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