Monday, April 25, 2011

French Onion Soup

Sense of Home

French Onion Soup 
~adapted barely from Smitten Kitchen where it was adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking~

1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, additional to taste
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Viognier, from Cline)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To finish [Gratinee], optional
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 cup freshly grated, Parmesan cheese 
1 cup grated Gruyere
olive oil to drizzle
approximately 12 1-inch thick rounds of French bread

Heat butter and olive oil on medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottom pot.  Add onions, stirring to coat.  Cover pot and reduce heat to low, letting them cook and soften for 15 minutes.  Now, if you are like me and tend to cry over onions, run your hands under cool water and dry your tears.

After the 15 minutes is up, uncover the pot and turn the heat to medium, add salt and sugar.  Saute onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they are a deep golden brown.  Sprinkle caramelized onions with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.  Add the wine in full, then add the stock a little at a time, stirring between additions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes, skimming any foam that rises to the top so that the soup will remain clear.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if it needs it, just remember, if you finish with the cheese and bread topping, the cheese will be adding salt to the soup, so go easy.  Set aside.

If finishing with the Gratinee:  Place French bread rounds on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil bread rounds until toasted, watch closely.  Grate the onion.  Mix the two cheeses together.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Arrange six oven-proof bowls or crocks on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bring the soup back to a boil and divide between the crocks.  Add to each crock of soup, 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and approximately a tablespoon of grated cheese   Stir to combine.  Place one or two toasted bread rounds on top of each crock of soup and mound as much cheese as you like on top.

Bake soup bowls or crocks on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler.  Broil for one or two minutes under the broiler until the top is lightly browned.  Enjoy!