Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn and French Onion Soup

Cool weather, falling leaves, fireplaces gently pluming light gray smoke, don't you just love Autumn?  I am in "Fall mode" today.  A cup of hot tea liberally sweetened and a couple of pecan sandies cookies while I sit looking out the window watching those beautifully colored leaves fall.

French Onion Soup

Since the weather seemed to call for it today, I am currently simmering some French Onion soup with the recipe that my precious daughter-in-law Silka shared with me from her Julia Child cookbook.  I don't know if it's the original recipe out of the cookbook or if she "tweaked" it before passing it along to me, all I know is that it's delicious!   It is also a very frugal recipe (I use 2 quarts of beef broth, 1 large sweet onion, salt, pepper, sugar, flour, butter, oil and a little dash of Worcestershire sauce) which is about $5.00 for the whole pot of soup.  Please keep in mind that this is not a "quick cook" recipe.  It takes some time but not a lot of effort.  You have to sort of baby the onions at first, cooking them low and slow until they caramelize, then once the beef broth is added, you just let it simmer and meld all those wonderful flavors together.  I like to serve it the traditional way with a toasted baguette slice with cheese broiled on the top.  All I can say is mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm, good!
French Onion Soup
Part 1
1 ½ lbs. of thinly sliced onions (approximately 2 medium onions)
3 Tbsp. of butter
1 Tbsp. of oil
A heavy bottomed saucepan with cover
Cook the onions slowly on medium  heat with the butter and oil in covered sauce pan for about 15 -20 minutes (until softened)
Part 2
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
Uncover, raise heat a little bit and stir salt and sugar in. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently (so they don’t burn) until they have turned a really dark brown color. Like the color of dark brown sugar.
Part 3
3 Tbsp. flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sprinkle in flour and stir for 3 minutes (This cooks out that raw flour flavor)
Part 4
2 Qts beef broth/stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup White wine or sherry (This is optional.  I have left it out, and the soup is still amazing).
Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.   Cover with lid, turn soup on low/simmer and let simmer for about  1 - 1 ½ hours.  Stir gently every 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a sliced toasted baguette (french bread) with mozzarella or swiss cheese (gruyere is best but it is not available where I live, so I substitute with mozzarella or swiss) melted on top.  Enjoy J