Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bistro Fare: French Onion Soup

It's been awhile since I've posted, and for that, I apologize to you. In fact, I've had this recipe ready to go for probably a week or two now. Of course, by ready, I mean scribbled down in a cryptic fashion on the back of a torn envelope along with other great notes such as Buy Dixie Cups, Draw Groundhogs and at least two other things that resemble recipes. So heck, it may not even be a recipe for french onion soup. If it is though, it's damn good.

NB: Makes only 2-3 servings!!

2 sweet onions halved and sliced so as to create long arcs of onion
1.5 T butter
1 T flour
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 T worcester sauce
1/4 C white wine or vermouth
1/4-1/2 C red wine
salt and pepper to taste

1 C - 2 C grated Gruyere cheese
2-4 slices of bread from a baguette.
1-2 T butter

Add the butter to a saucepan larger enough to contain the soup, and heat until melted. Add the sliced onions, season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook on low heat 20-25 minutes until the onions brown and caramelize. They should be cooked slowly enough that they remain soft, not crisp. Add the flour and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Do not worry if the onions have created some residue on the bottom of the pan, when you add the broth this will all come up. Add the white wine and allow to cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes. Then add the worcester saue and the chicken stock. Cook 25-30 minutes or until soup tastes rich and oniony. While the soup is cooking, ready the topping. Cut the bread into large (approximately 1") cubes. Add the butter to a skillet and melt. Add the bread cubes and toss until coated, cook a few minutes until nice and toasty. Then check the soup, add more salt and pepper to taste. Add the red wine and raise heat to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes, then spoon soup into oven proof bowls. Top with the toasted cubes, and about 1/2 C - 3/4 C of cheese (I use a microplane to grate the Gruyere, so it is very fluffy and not dense, thus seeming to be a greater volume). Put under a broiler until cheese is thoroughly melted.

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