French Onion SoupDecember 6th, 2012 | Posted by in Recipes For People
This one’s fallen out of favor because it’s not slimming in the least. And it became so popular years ago that it was no longer “gourmet” enough to impress company. But it’s one of my indulgences now and then, so I’m resurrecting it on behalf of all of us who have fond memories of trying to look polite at the dinner table while cheese stretched away from the spoon and onto our chins. Hopefully, we’ve got a better handle on how to manage this soup by now, but frankly, I’m not sure how much it matters when everyone’s having the same challenge with it and laughing away. In fact, sip some wine while you eat it, and it’ll matter even less.
I don’t know if your recipe includes white wine, but this one does. It was given to me by a friend who’s father was a chef in Paris (France, not Ontario) at a restaurant that became so famous for this soup, that celebrities were lining up for it. And it is, in my opinion, worth that kind of fame. I like to cook anyway, but this soup, despite that it’s not difficult or very time consuming to make, is one that I enjoy fussing with more than necessary. On a rainy or snowy day, when I’m grateful to have a warm home and food and feel more “country” than “city” in my soul, there’s something about the simplicity and rustic appearance that suits me perfectly.
2 TBS. butter
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (good quality that you would enjoy drinking)
2 generous grinds of fresh black pepper
salt to taste
4 rounds toasted baquette
4 oz high quality Gruyère cheese (don’t skimp by using Swiss cheese instead), grated
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
Fry the onions slowly in butter, but don’t allow them to brown. When transparent and cooked, add a pinch of sugar. Add beef broth, bring to a boil gently and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the white wine and cook 10 more minutes. Check seasonings. Place one round of toasted baguette into each of four earthenware soup bowls (rimless if possible). Top the bread with grated Gruyère cheese. Use a ladle to pour soup into the sides of the bowls rather than on top. This prevents the cheese from scattering all over the top. Place the bowls of soup under a hot grill (I use the broil setting in my oven) until the cheese turns crisp, golden and bubbling. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley and serve immediately.
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