From the Recipe Box: French Onion Soup.

Soup is one of the easiest things to make, but often because of a demanding lifestyle we can’t make it from scratch.

French Onion soup is one of those dishes that demand your attention. You can’t just throw everything into a pot and have at it, the beginning – and the most important part – caramelising the onions is time consuming but if you want to get it right it needs all your attention. This is also one of those dishes where ingredients are everything. Some dishes you can substitute one thing for another, but sometimes you just have to follow the recipe to get the best result. Case in point, I could have used the onions that were already in the fridge (yellow), but for this soup I would suggest you use Vidalia. When caramelising you want your onions to be blonde, and these are perfect. The good thing is, once the carmaelisation is done you can relax, so if you’ve got about an hour to spare try this recipe on for size.

[Three Kinds of Caramelised Onions] 

You can put whatever cheese you wish on top. Most recipes I found called for Mozzarella (mild flavour) but I used Swiss and Parmesan that the recipe called for. If you want authentic, then use aged Gruyère.

I found the recipe I made HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups beef broth**(1)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine **(2)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  •  salt to taste
  •  black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan divided
  • 2 baguette slices toasted
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

French onion soup

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Stir in onions, salt, and sugar. Cook 35 minutes, over medium/medium low, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized.
  3. Mix beef broth, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaf into pot.
  4. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  6. Mix in vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place oven safe soup bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill bowls with soup. Top each bowl evenly with parmesan, bread, and swiss cheese.
  8. Broil until bubbly.
  9. Serve immediately!

For a truly authentic French Onion soup, I found this recipe. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/authentic-soupe-a-l-oignon-gratinee-french-onion-soup-52847591

I used regular butter as opposed to un-salted but didn’t add any extra salt, and I found it still quite salty. Probably because of the store-bought broth. Next time I’ll use unsalted butter and low-sodium broth, but home-made would be best. I didn’t add the wine either. With such a small amount mixed with Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar, I doubted I would even taste it.

Have you made this soup before? How did it work out for you?

 

 

 

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Adventures in Restaurants: The French Connection

We did something for my birthday we haven’t done in years; went out to dinner. Our place out in the country was always such a long drive, that it was rare for us to get out anywhere fancy, but this year we decided to throw caution to the wind and go someplace really nice.

There’s a little French bistro in the city called Le Chien Noir that Husband and I have wanted to visit for a while. We thought about taking Sithboy, but after looking over the menu outside, realized there wasn’t anything he’d like on it. Ah well…

The restaurant itself was small and cozy, and we sat by the window. It was nice to see people walk by, but then I realized they’d see us too, while we eat, and that kinda put me off on window seats.

Anyway, appetizers were Escargot Grautin and P.E.I mussels.

 

I *love* escargot and get them whenever I can. These were incredible. Done in garlic and wine sauce with cheese melted over top, I had to restrain myself from eating them too fast. Husband had mussels roasted in red wine-tomato broth.

 

Entrees were roasted duck with white beans and sausage for Husband and roasted chicken for me. I could have made a meal out of the mushroom dressing for the chicken. The sauces for both meals were rich, probably made with cream. I don’t care. They were incredible.

For desert Husband had grapefruit mousse with toffee candy crumbs. Sorry, I forgot to get pictures. It was so nice; not too sweet or bitter. I had a specialty coffee with a couple shots of liquor and whipped cream in it. Enough so that I caught a buzz after drinking only half of it.

Over all, it was a great night. So glad we went out.

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