Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eats: French Onion Soup.

There is nothing I love more than a hearty bowl of soup when I'm feeling low. To say I've been rather stressed lately would be a bit of an understatement (my job search has proved less than fruitful so far) and the only thing I want to do this weekend is recharge my batteries, start my new book, avoid my computer and make a big ol' crock pot of soup. Since I just finished Julia Child's My Life in France (which I highly recommend), French Onion Soup is just the ticket for a low-kinda Sunday. Oh, and my new book is also about another French-culture icon, Miss Coco Chanel (go figure.) My love affair continues! Click below to see the whole recipe and file as noms.

This is the point where I start to cry. God damn onions!

  • 2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Homemade croutons- saute cubed bread in some butter, olive oil, salt and pepper (these make the whole dish easier to eat than using a large piece of floating toast on top of your soup!)
  • (1/2 lb.) piece of Gruyère
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

That is a whole lot of onions, and a whole lot of tears.

  • Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. 
  • Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. 
  • Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the homemade croutons.
  • Preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan.
  • Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then cover each with a layer of croutons. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese grater to cover tops of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and a little fresh thyme if you like.
    (You are welcome to go the classic way with this recipe and float a single crostini on top; I just find it extremely difficult to eat the soup that way- unless you enjoy eating it with a knife!)
  • Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • In the words of Mrs. Child, bon appétit! 

The (almost) finished product! Now time for cheese and bread! 

[Images via: A Cozy Kitchen, Pinterest, recipe via: Gourmet]

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