Sunday, November 22, 2009
French Onion Soup
Oh, now this is real childhood favorite of mine! In the picture you actually see it as I did as a youngster. My parents got these Danish bowls together, and after divorcing, my Dad took a few of him up north to the Chicago area, and when he died, I took them back to their place of origin. I also ate my cheerios from these bowls, broth when I was sick, strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar for an impromptu dessert...these are the bowls of my childhood. And I'm so happy I have them again, even if it does mean my dad is dead. Life is bittersweet like that.
French onion soup on the other hand is warm, delicious, inviting, comforting and cheap to boot. You'll need:
10 yellow onions
few drops Worchester sauce
salt to taste (or few drops Tamari sauce)
broth (beef broth is usually used, I make do with vegetable)
slices of stale bread
grated cheese (gruyère, sharp cheddar etc)
I start off my slicing my onions. Some halve the onions first, slicing thin lunar shapes. Some slice through the whole onion, creating rings. I like halving them, and slicing along the poles. Makes for a chunkier bite of soup I find.
Sauté gently in a bit of butter and oil until they go a bit glassy on you.
Add a few tsp of sugar to caramelize slightly.
Now add a tbsp of flour or so to thicken and brown.
*Now, I have to add here, that if you use a beef broth, you should be fine, colorwise. I prefer not to, opting instead for vegetable broth, but this gives a light colored soup that's otherwise meant to be on the dark side. So at this stage, I add my Worchester sauce and Tamari to get the onions nice and dark before adding my broth.
I add about 1.3 liters or so since that's how much water I can boil in the kettle at once. Let it bubble for a while before tasting it. Add a few pinches of dry or a sprig of fresh thyme at this stage. I like to let mine boil down until it's quite thick with onions.
Now arrange the soup in an oven-proof bowl, lightly set a slice of bread on top, and cover with grated cheese. Grill in the oven until bubbly and brown as you like it. I like mine slightly less brown than most, but it needs a bit of crunch to be just right.
My kids aren't quite hooked on this yet, but I'm planning on breaking them in with this recipe this winter!