Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lesson 1 Recipes - Classic French Onion Soup

Serves approximately 6.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 large yellow onions (not sweet onions), skins removed, cut in half, root to tip, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. dried thyme or 2 Tbs. fresh thyme
8 cups homemade beef stock (kept warm)
¼ cup dry sherry or red wine (optional)
1½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
12 slices of baguette, approximately 1/3” thick
1 cup grated gruyere cheese

Melt butter in large soup pot set over medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat through. Add onions and cook slowly over medium heat until onions soften and begin to turn golden, about 35 minutes, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat and add thyme. Continue cooking, stirring often, until onions have turned a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes more. When onions have caramelized, deglaze pan with sherry or wine. Increase heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until alcohol has cooked off, about 3 minutes.

Next, ladle in beef stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Top soup with toasted baguette slices and Gruyere cheese. If serving in ovenproof bowls, place soup under broiler to melt cheese, about 5 minutes. Or, you can place baguette slices on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle baguette slices with grated gruyere and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown.

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