Friday, September 10, 2010

Recipe: French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a personal favorite of mine, owing to its simplicity and hearty taste.  I'm a big fan of onions and try to buy them as cheaply and as much as I can.  This soup is perfect for almost any season and can be mastered with extreme ease.  This is the recipe I use (I tinkered with it a little to bring out a richer and more full flavor.)

You will need:
8-9 medium onions (green, white, or yellow), chopped
10 cups of beef broth or stock (bouillon works well)
Sliced bread
Brandy (two shots' worth)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Cheese (traditionally Gruyere)
Pepper to taste
Oil to sauté

Add the broth to a big pot.  Peel and chop the onions.  In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, caramelize the onions in oil (about eight minutes), stirring constantly.  When the onions are turning brown, add the honey and the balsamic vinegar.  When the onions are caramelized, add everything in the saucepan to the broth and bring to a simmer.  Add in the brandy and grate in some pepper to taste.  Simmer for ten minutes or so.  Ladle the soup into bowls; top each bowl with a slice of bread and a thick layer of grated cheese.  The hot soup should melt the cheese over the bread and the top of the soup.  Serve.
Makes: about six servings.

If you let the soup sit for a day, the flavors will blend and meld better, making for a better soup.  But you can serve immediately as well.
I add the honey and balsamic to the onions, as I find it makes for a richer soup.  The vinegar and the honey cook a bit into the onion, allowing for a sweeter, yet more savory, soup.
Also, try serving in bread bowls for the ultimate experience.

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