Thursday, November 4, 2010

Before and After: French Onion Soup

Aren't onions just the best? Raw they are an awesome assault on your taste buds (red onion on a veggie burger? yummm!). Caramelized they are the sweetest, melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Like with French Onion Soup. This is a vegetarian friendly version. I should probably post the recipe for you. I'll ask the chef for it and if it's not a family secret, I will pass it on. It starts with at least six large onions, sliced....

and ends up baked in individual copper au gratin dishes, mmmm....

November 5th Update: Chef Christopher has given me permission to pass on the recipe for "Vegetarian French Onion Soup Von Awesome"

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Add 6 large onions that have been finely sliced (be prepared for some tears as that's a lot of oniony aroma). Cook over low heat for at least one hour (it's a lot of stirring and waiting, but it's worth it!) until the oinons are deep golden brown and begin to caramelize.

Add 2 to 4 chopped garlic cloves and 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour. Stir continuously for 2 minutes to fully coat the onions.
Gradually blend in 8 cups of vegetable stock (you can use vegetable or onion stock cubes) and 1 cup of white wine (can be omitted) and bring to a boil. Add one bay leaf , 2 springs of thyme, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.
Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 1/2 an hour.

Toast slices of stale bread (preferably French bread or baguette, not sourdough).
Place one slice of bread on top of each individual oven-proof bowl of onion soup.
Top with 1/8 cup grated Gruyère cheese (Asiago can work nicely too) and broil until the cheese melts and turns light golden brown (keep a close eye on it, there's a very fine line between browned and burnt, and you don't want to ruin the soup at the final step)

Serve immediately! The house now heart-warmingly smells of caramelized onions and patience, your guests will be salivating. Enjoy the taste of your efforts and the complements from the lucky recipients.


Erin said...

Recipe mandatory. Sorry.

glenda said...

Oh yes, you've tasted this. As you are a meat eater I was impressed that you were so impressed.

By some bizarre twist of fate, or just some beneficial random coincidence (Chaos Theory is my preferred method of analyzing these situations), Christopher just called to tell me that he is making this very French Onion Soup for dinner tonight! I happened across the photos last night and loved the picture of all that butter atop all those onions and felt I had to share it. He had no idea that I had done so. Weird! and perfect! As I can grill him on the recipe tonight.

Erin said...

Yes! Best French Onion soup of all time...with or without le boeuf!