Monday, October 5, 2009

TFF - French Onion Soup

Project number 3 for the weekend-o-cooking with Ginny was French Onion Soup. I am definitely in soup mode with the weather changing over the last week or so, and one of our favorite side dishes uses a can of french onion soup as an ingredient. Let me just tell you how sick I am of buying french onion soup all the time. So, I thought, why not make a big pot full and can it so I can use my own soup next time? Great idea, right?

Well, it would be, except that after the servings that Ginny and I slurped down, it only left me with four pint jars. So, what began with what appeared to be a huge amount of onions turned into a fairly small amount of soup. This shouldn't have been a surprise, its not like I haven't made french onion soup before, but I guess I was hoping for more. Also, I used more onions and beef stock that the recipe called for.

Since Tyler Florence Fridays is going to be wrapping up soon, I want to get as many posts in as possible this month, so I found Tyler's recipe for French Onion Soup from the Food Network. It turned out very nicely, and we couldn't wait to break through that layer of cheese (I used provolone since I bought it for the Blind Taste Test) and baguette. Also, my broiler doesn't work, never has, so since Ginny brought her torch for the Creme Brulee that I'll be posting later, we used that to work the cheese over.

Isn't today the perfect day for soup? I thought so, too. While I was running errands over lunch yesterday, in the rain, I couldn't help but think, "Soup Day." Yep, we have a tradition in my office (I work in a group lab with several other people) that when we all start to get chilled and the weather is getting us down, we have Soup Day. Everyone brings in soup, or something to go with soup, like crackers, or dessert, and we shake off the chill together while drowning our sorrows in a bowl (or six) of hot, steamy goodness. We have a small group right now, but it couldn't have been a better day for it as we've had nearly three inches of rain over the last 48 hours, and on top of that....its Friday. So today I have a big crock pot of Pasta e Fagioli, and some impromptu Chicken Noodle soup (I snagged a couple of pieces of leftover grilled chicken from our office cookout yesterday).

Soup's On, Everyone!

French Onion Soup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat.Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, 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. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 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 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. 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.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.


ARLENE said...

I vote for cheese, even over bacon! Looks divine, and I know what you mean about not getting the huge quantity you expect after prepping all those onions. Still, worth it in the end!

girlichef said...

That cheese!!! OMG, heaven!! I love French Onion...and any soup for that matter...I'd be experiencing sheer bliss at your house this week! :D

Kim said...

Your pictures are beautiful, Beth! Really professional looking. This look amazingly cheesy and so yummy. You knocked this one out of the park! I think I'm making a pasta e fagioli this weekend. We've had that same rain all week too.

Linda said...

First, great job! Second, I have been making French Onion soup kile this for years...and now Tyler says it is his! Well, he's so darn cute that I don't mind him taking the credit. But it is soooo good!

Debinhawaii said...

French Onion soup is always so delicious and comforting. It looks great!

Pam said...

I love french onion soup!!

sewwhat? said...

Wish I was your neighbor, so you could take pity on a poor widow and bring her some of your yummy creation left-overs--but I'll bet there aren't many leftovers!

Jenny said...

Oh yes, yesterday was a soup day and this is such a good idea.

Joanne said...

Soup day sounds like so much fun! I would love a bowl of this to warm me up. I guess it says something about the soup that you wish you had more of it!