Week 6 French Onion Soup

March11

I set out to make a classic French Onion soup and oh BOY did I succeed!  I made the bread bowls for the soup myself with my new found sourdough baking skills.

Though this was my first attempt at this beautiful classic soup, I have no reason to ever try to seek out another.  The carmelization method is from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  It makes this soup brilliant to make, even if it does take all day.  It is totally worth it.

3 tbsp butter

4 pounds onions, sliced into strips

2 cups water

1/2 cup brandy

6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth (or any combination of broths, I used lobster broth)

6-8 springs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Coat the inside of a 4 quart dutch oven with vegetable oil.  Add the butter, onions and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Place on the bottom rack of the oven.  Cook covered for 1 hour.  remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions scraping any bits off the bottom.  Return the lid to the pot slightly ajar.  Return the dutch oven to the oven and let cook for 1.5- 1.75 more hours, stopping to scrape the bottom of the pot at the 1 hour mark.

2.) Remove the dutch oven from the oven and place over medium-high heat.  Cook the onions, stirring frequently and stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot until all liquid has evaporated and the onions start to brown, about 20 minutes.  Continue to cook stirring frequently until the bottom is coated with a crust, about 8 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the bottom.  Ensure you get up any crusty bits.  Continue to cook until the bottom is again coated with a crust and deglaze again.  Continue this about 2-3 more times until the onions are very  dark and carmelized (but not burnt)/

3.) Stir in the 2 cups water, the broth, the thyme, the bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of salt ensuring all browned bits have been scraped up.  Increase the heat to high and allow the soup to simmer for about an hour.  Remove the herbs.

4.) Add the soup to a bread bowl.  Grate cheese over slices of bread floating in the top until browned and delicious.

posted under Recipe

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