Friday, March 28, 2014

French Onion Soup

This past Thursday I had my French class that I taught, and we made a few French dishes that I love to eat.  Among them we made, Steak au Poivre (Pepper Crusted Steak) with a Cognac Sauce, Ratatouille, Crepes with an Apple Caramel Sauce and French Onion Soup. 

Now after going to Culinary School, and taking my Classical Cuisine class (which was a restaurant run class serving "classical French foods") I have ingrained in my head where I can no longer call it French Onion Soup.  Because in that class, it was a French menu, therefore according to one of my instructors it should simply be called Onion Soup because the French should have been a given.

But for the purposes of this blog that is neither here nor there, just a little insight on how my brain functions.  Anyway.....French Onion Soup, something that my mother has been asking me for years to make her.  Not sure why, but when I started my culinary venture, she just said she would really like me to make it for her at some point.

And I am sorry to say for years up until this point I have played the bad daughter roll because I haven't made it for her.  It was one of those things that I was always so-so on because the recipe always seemed so simple.  What could be so special about onions in a beef broth with bread and some gruyere cheese?  But it's those very things that make this a delicious dish for all to indulge in, and of course I made my momma happy when I presented her with a bowl of this.

French Onion Soup
Serves: 4-6
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 quarts  beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound Gruyere, grated

1.  Melt the 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. 
2.  Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes.  Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
3.  Add the flour in with the onions and stir.  Turn the heat down to medium low, and cool out the raw flour taste, about 5 minutes.  Pour in beef broth and bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper.
4.  Preheat your broiler when your close to serving the soup.  Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Load the slices with Gruyere cheese and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.  Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
5.  Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

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