Friday, June 7, 2013

Onion Soup

This recipe will bring tears to your eyes, but they are so worth it.  Today, I’m cutting the recipe in half and only using 2 sweet yellow onions, etc. since it is just me. 

The secret to making French onion soup it slow cooking.  This is not a quick soup you can toss together, but it is worth the wait.  You can make a big batch and freeze what is left over.  The next time you want it, you will have a head start on it.

4 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 quart good quality beef stock
1 tablespoon of demi-glace (Or you can also use Swanson’s Flavor Packet for extra flavor)
1 bay leaf
Black pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Baguette sliced thick and lightly toasted or your favorite store bought croutons
Chopped thyme, green onion, or chives (Optional )

Peel and slice your onions as thin as possible. 

Toast a baguette under the broiler.  Do not walk away.  I’ve been known to burn bread when I do that so I stand there and watch.  I’m toasting the whole baguette and will use left overs for croutons for a salad.  I’ll cut them up and put them in a baggie.  I like to take a whole piece of garlic and rub it on top of each piece of toast.

Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat.

Add the butter and let it melt. Add the thinly sliced onions, salt and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are wilted and just starting to turn brown (about 20 to 30 minutes). Turn down the heat to medium low and continue caramelizing, stirring frequently to prevent burning (about 30 minutes).

Deglazing the pan

When the onions are sticky, glossy, and a medium brown, add a ½ cup of broth to deglaze the pan (The original recipe calls for ½ cup sherry but I never have it.  You may replace the 1/2 cup of broth with sherry if you like).  Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and reduce onions again, until the onions are sticky, glossy and dark brown (about 10 minutes). Add the rest of the beef stock, demi-glace, bay leaf, then salt and pepper to taste. When salting, keep in mind the soup will reduce a bit when you’re melting the cheese on top, so don’t make it too salty. Let this simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes for all the flavors to blend.

Pull out the bay leaf and ladle the onion soup into broiler safe ramekins (there should be enough soup for 4 to 6 individual servings depending on the size of your bowls). Don’t fill the containers all the way. Top with the soup with slices of toasted bread or croutons and push them into the soup. Top the soup with a slice of the fresh mozzarella cheese.

Place your ramekins on a baking sheet. Move the oven rack to the top position, and turn on the boiler. Put the baking sheet in the oven with the French Onion Soup directly below the heating element. Do not walk away.  Keep an eye on them to prevent burning and broil until the cheese is hot, bubbly, and lightly browned. 

Sprinkle with chopped green onion, chives or fresh thyme if you like.  Serve right away with some extra toasted French bread to sop up the soup.

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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