Monday, April 16, 2012

French Onion Soup

I really have a hard time resisting "buy-one-get-one-free" deals at the grocery store.  At some stores, you can just buy one and still get it for 50% off, but at our local grocery store, you have to get two in order to get the deal.  So, when I saw the bags of onions with the sale sign on them, I grabbed two without thinking about how hard it would be to use them all.  I hate to admit, but more often than not we end up throwing food away when I buy more than we can use before it goes bad.  And that pretty much ruins the idea of getting it on sale.  So with several onions on the verge of dying, I knew that French onion soup would be a great way to use them up.  We picked up a baguette from the French bakery to use as the perfect topping, underneath the melted Gruyere cheese.   This recipe came from Tyler Florence on food network.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 onions, sliced (we used a mixture of yellow and red)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth (or less if you want it a little thicker)
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, a teaspoon of salt, and some pepper and stir until combined.

Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. 
Add the wine, reduce the heat, and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for about 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. 
Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. 
 When the soup is almost done, preheat the broiler.  Ladle the soup into oven-save bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. 
We stacked the bread because the openings of the mugs were so small.  Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.  Watch carefully so it doesn't burn!

If you don't have oven-safe bowls, you could arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer, sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere, and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

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