Tuesday, December 11, 2007

French Onion Soup

Nothing beats a homemade onion soup, and although it takes some time, it really is very easy to make. So, I think once you make it, you will keep on making it. And it's great
during winter months.

The trick is to caramelize the onions without burning them too much:) If you use a non-stick skillet, the caramelizing doesn't work, you have to use a cast iron one. And take your time, don't bring the heat higher, you will burn the onions instead of caramelizing them.

Do use both the beef and chicken broth, it makes a big difference in taste.

Try using red wine instead of white wine, it makes a nice taste change, you might even prefer it that way:) But it does overpower the onion taste a tad bit.

I prefer using only Vidalia onions, and I do slice them really thin. If you have it, a Mandolin helps.




5 sweet onions (like Vidalias) or a combination of sweet and red onions (about 4 pounds)
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white wine
10 ounces canned beef broth
10 ounces chicken broth
10 ounces apple cider (unfiltered is best)
Bouquet garni; thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string
1 loaf country style bread
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Splash of Cognac (optional)
1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated

Trim the ends off each onion then halve lengthwise. Remove peel and finely slice into half moon shapes.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until dark brown but not burned, stirring occasionally, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Add enough wine to cover the onions and turn heat to high, reducing the wine to a syrup consistency. Add beef and chicken broth, apple cider and bouquet garni. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Place oven rack in top 1/3 of oven and heat broiler.

Cut country bread in rounds large enough to fit mouth of oven safe soup crocks.

Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 1 minute.

Season soup mixture with salt, pepper and cognac. Remove bouquet garni and ladle soup into crocks leaving one inch to the lip. Place bread round, toasted side down, on top of soup and top with grated cheese.

Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

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