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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

French Onion Soup

I'm not a fan of the cool temperatures we've been experiencing for the last week or so.  I'm not ready to give up my flip-flops and sleeveless tops just yet.

One of things this weather is perfect for, however, is making soup.  Nothing makes my house smell better than a pot of soup simmering on the stove, and nothing chases away the chill in my bones better than a hot bowl of soup.

I haven't made soup since the spring, when the warm weather arrived.  Today, I made up for it.

French onion is my husband's favorite, chicken noodle is my son's favorite, broccoli cheddar is my daughter's favorite.  I don't play favorites.

I blogged about the Broccoli Cheddar Soup earlier this year.  Today, I'll give you the recipe for my French onion soup. 

No playlist today.  Sean and Erin were both close by, doing homework, and I didn't want to disturb them and lose the pleasure of their company!

Okay, okay, I admit it..... in my head I was silently singing Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-A My House" over and over as I cooked.  I'm still silently singing it.  Can't get it out of my mind.

The following recipe will give you four 10-ounce servings of  soup. 

French Onion Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (may substitute red wine)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 1 loaf french bread (baguette or other crusty loaf)
  • 6 ounces sliced or grated cheese, (I used Swiss, but Gruyere or Asiago also work well)

Gather your ingredients.

Thinly slice your onions.  Lop off both ends, peel the skin off, cut them in half.  Place them cut-side down on a cutting board.  Slice away.

Done.  You don't have to separate the layers, they will come apart when you cook them.

Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions.  Let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until they begin to soften and caramelize.

They will look like this after 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour until well blended.

Add a splash of sherry (or wine).  The 1/4 cup measurement I gave you was just an estimate; I never measure the wine.  I just pour it in to deglaze the pan, usually a couple of "glugs" will do it.  I think that's about a quarter of a cup, maybe a little more.

Stir in the water and the beef broth.  Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

While the soup simmers, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut four slices of bread from the baguette, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Toast the slices (one for each bowl of soup).

The soup is done.

Place oven-safe bowls on a cookie pan lined with foil or parchment.  It's much easier to take the bowls in and out of the oven if they're on a cookie pan.  Chances are pretty good that something is going to spill or boil over, and lining the pan makes for easy clean-up.

Ladle the soup into the bowls.

Place one slice of the toasted bread on top of the soup.

Top with two slices of Swiss cheese.  Or you can use grated cheese.  Just pile it on top of the toasted bread.  You can use other types of cheese, if you prefer.  I usually use Swiss because it is on the mild side, melts well, but isn't overly stringy.  Gruyere also works well.

Bake in your preheated 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. 


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