Tuesday, February 3, 2009

French Onion Soup

I love my Soups during Our Winter Seasons and make this often.

Soupe a l’Oignon [Onion Soup]Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 1/2 pounds or about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions (Deb note: I find even 6-7 cups is never too much)3 tablespoons butter1 tablespoon oilA heavy-bottomed 4-quart covered saucepan1 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon sugar (helps the onions to brown)3 tablespoons flour2 quarts boiling brown stock, canned beef bouillon, or 1 quart of boiling water and 1 quart of stock or bouillon1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouthSalt and pepper to taste3 tablespoons cognacRounds of hard-toasted French bread (see following recipe)1 to 2 cups grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese (Deb note: I always use cave-aged gruyere)
Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.
Sprinkle the flour and stir for three minutes.
Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes of more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.
(*) Set aside uncovered until ready to serve. Then reheat to the simmer.
Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into a soup tureen or soup cups over the round of bread and pass the cheese separately. [Or, use following instructions for a baked cheese top.]
Soupe a’ L’Oignon Gratinee [Onion Soup Gratineed with Cheese]Mastering the Art of French Cooking
The preceeding onion soupA fireproof tureen or casserole or individual onion soup pots2 ounces Swiss cheese cut into very thin slivers1 tablespoon grated raw onion12 to 16 rounds of hard toasted French bread1/2 cups grated Swiss, or Swiss and Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Bring the soup to the boil and pour into the tureen or soup pots. Stir in the slivered cheese and grated onion. Float the rounds of toast on top of the soup, and spread the grated cheese over it. Sprinkle with the oil or butter. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, then set for a minute or two under a preheated broiler to brown the top lightly. Serve immediately.

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