Sunday, May 24, 2009

French Onion Soup

I know, I know. Katie's Guide to Epcot: China is coming. Possibly tomorrow, I promise.
However, I HAD to write about this soup while I still have the library book in order to copy down the recipe.
French Onion Soup, I thought, had to be excessively complicated. I have been proven wrong.
I got the recipe from a Julia Child cookbook. I figured it has to be great, if not easy. It was easy.
What you do, is you fry some onions in butter and thyme. Then, you try to resist the temptation to eat them plain. Then, you throw in a ton of broth and some black pepper. Then you eat it.
Try the recipe. You won't regret it. Surprisingly, it doesn't take that many onions. I think I used 1.5 large white onions.

Onion Soup by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
Yield: 6 cups, enough for 5 or 6 small crocks

2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. oil
1.5 lb. onions, peeled and thinly sliced (5 cups)
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme sprigs, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
5 c. hot chicken stock, homemade, or low-sodium canned broth (I used 3 beef bouillon cubes, it worked ok)
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 c. red or white wine (optional) - I did not use

Set the saucepan over medium-low heat and add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions, thyme, and 1/2 tsp. of salt and mix together thoroughly. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onions are quite tender, uncover and raise the heat slightly. Cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are dark brown and have caramelized in the pan. Lower the heat if the onions are in danger of burning.
Stir in the hot stock, scraping any crystallized juices from the bottom of the pan, and bring the soup to the boil. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and 1.4 tsp. of black pepper or more to taste, and wine if you like. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
The soup may be served plain or gratinéed, as follows.

At first, the beef broth was overpowering. But I just finished it off about 5 days after I made it, and it was perfect. My boyfriend, my French boyfriend, said it was the best onion soup he's ever had. It was running down his chin. I highly recommend it. But I would use chicken broth, if you can.

To gratinée it, just throw in a few cubes of french bread and some cheese on top. Gruyere is the proper cheese to use, but I didn't feel like shelling out 8 bucks for a block of it. So I grabbed some grated parmesan and it seemed to work ok.

Back to regular scheduled blogging after this. Epcot: China!