"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

French Onion Soup

Several years ago my mom gave me the Williams-Sonoma French cookbook.  The front cover has an amazing picture of French Onion Soup.  I have been a HUGE fan of French Onion Soup for as long as I can remember!  If it's on the menu, I'm probably going to order it!  Since I've been on Christmas break this week, I decided to finally try making the soup recipe from the cookbook.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!  I will definitely be making this again.  The dark broth and rich texture make this is a perfect soup to serve at fancy Christmas brunch or dinner. 

Two-Onion Soup Gratinee
(Serves 8)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 large red onions, thinly sliced
4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. sugar
7 cups (56 fl oz) beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 slices baguette, each 1/4 inch thick
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup (3oz) shredded Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large, nonaluminum Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the red and yellow onions and saute until wilted, about 15 minutes.  Add the sugar and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions are richly colored and caramelized, 30-45 minutes longer.  (If the onions start to brown too quickly toward the beginning of the caramelizing process, you may need to reduce the heat slightly.) 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the stock, garlic, bay leaf, and wine to the pan.  Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices: arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, watching carefully to prevent burning, 5-7 minutes.

Add the thyme to the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Discard the bay leaf.

To serve, preheat the broiler.  Ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls.  Place 2 or 3 baguette slices on top of each serving and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.  Place the soup bowls on a baking sheet and slide under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source.  Broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.  Sprinkle a little parsley over each soup bowl and serve at once.

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