Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mmmm French Onion Soup!

French Onion Soup!
My first blog post...


I had never even tried french onion soup before. I have seen it on the menu at many restaurants, but because of the messy-stringy cheese factor, I have never ordered it. Plus... I don't like to spend money on things I might not like. Boy have I been missing out!


I also thought that because the main ingredient is onions, it shouldn't be that high in calories so to add it to the menu for a first course for dinner would be great to keep us from overindulging on the fattening main course!

This soup is SOOO good! I actually made it 2 nights in a row by request of Dan (who had also never had french onion soup- unless you count what Lipton makes he said!)

I came across a recipe online and thought it might be fun to try. I DID tweak the recipe quite a bit... mabye even to the point that it is not the same at all anymore! But, Hey! I am NOT a by the books kinda gal!

An important element is the proper caramelization of the onions. Caramelizing onions take at least thirty minutes of slow cooking the onions over medium high heat. The browning, or caramelizing, of the onions brings out the sweetness in them.


INGREDIENTS:

4 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
Olive oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans of beef stock
1/2 can (plus 3tbsp for caramalizing the onions) water
1/4 cup worcestershire
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of toasted bread- french- sandwich.. whatever you have on hand!
6-8 slices of Swiss or Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan, saute the onions in a small amount (3tbsp) of olive oil and 3tbsp of water on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.





Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, worcestershire bay leaf, and thyme. Cover and simmer until the flavors are well blended, at least 30 minutes or longer it wont hurt for it to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.





To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish (don't just dump it... it will splash and burn you!!). Cover with the toast and lay cheese to cover top. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.






I now need to scour the internet to look for cute little bowls that can withstand 500 degree heat in the oven for individual servings!
















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