It's time for soup and I do love soup. There are many types of soup that I like to make, but I do have a tendency of going back to the classic soups such as chicken noodle, beef and of course french onion soup.
Making french onion soup really isn't really hard. What is really difficult is the time it takes to prepare the soup. Here is a recipe that I have used a couple of times and it was a hit for MC.
6 - 8 large onions (yellow onions preferably)
2 tbsp salted butter
1/4 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp minced garlic
8 cups of beef stock (or broth)
1/2 cup of dry white wine (or a merlot)
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 large bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme
Salt and pepper
6 slices of toasted French bread
1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere, Edam and a little grated Parmesan cheese
Start by cutting the onions. I am cutting the onions lengthwise as I am just following tradition. Also, notice that I am adding one red onion. I do this because it adds a totally different flavor to the onion soup.
In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and butter. Make sure that the butter is melting and spread it around assuring that the butter and olive oil mix well.
Now sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high
heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30 minutes (or
Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with
the caramelization.Continue to cook.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock. Now if you don't have stock, you can use beef broth. This might not give enough flavor, but it does do the job as well. I am also adding a can of beef consomme as this will help give more flavor (and since I am not using beef stock).
Now add the vermouth
or wine, bay leaf, and thyme. I am using two small bay leaves since I don't have a large bay leaf. Also, I didn't use dry white wine (for some reason...I thought I had). I ended up using some good merlot. Cover partially and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Season to taste with salt
and pepper. Discard the bay leaf. Allow to simmer some more for about 5 minutes. Taste again to see if you need to add additional salt and pepper. I don't add salt as the consomme and beef broth have enough sodium.
While the soup is simmering, you can slice the bread and butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Allow to warm the bread until it is toasted. Take out of the oven and dice into large croutons. I am using sourdough bread, but french bread is better as it won't necessarily soak up all the soup (sourdough normally does).
To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls
or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or
casserole dish. Cover with the croutons and sprinkle with cheese. Put
into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350, or until the cheese
bubbles and is slightly browned.
This is a great dish to enjoy when its rather cool, but I like to have this year round. This soup does keep well for about 1 week. I sometimes like to cook it well in advance (the soup that is) and prep a day or two. This allows the spices to really meld well. Enjoy!!