It’s raining cats and dogs here in New York City and all I can think about is French Onion Soup. For no reason. other than I think it is the perfect thing to have on such a ‘stay inside and get cozy’ kind of day.
As much as this soup was a necessity and staple in days gone by (because onions were plentiful and easy to grow), I would now call it a luxury – a little bit of heaven for your taste buds, made even more heavenly with the addition of some bread and cheese. A sumptuous broth with a deep caramelized onion flavour, topped with a grilled gruyere crouton – so simple, so rustic and so darn good.
I don’t know what you have planned for today but I am going to ‘soup and nap’ it – or maybe just listen to the rain…
100 grams/3.5 ounces butter, coarsely chopped
2 kilos/4.4 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock
4 thyme sprigs
3 parsley stalks
1 fresh bay leaf
8 1cm-thick slices of baguette cut on diagonal, lightly toasted
250 grams/8.8 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère
Melt butter in a large, wide heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until onions are soft. Remove lid and cook for 1 hour or until soft and starting to caramelise. Add stock, ½ a cup at a time, and simmer for 5 minutes or until stock has almost evaporated. Repeat three times more until 2 cups of stock has been added. Using kitchen twine, tie herbs together, add to onions with remaining stock and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, scraping the base to remove any caramelised bits, for 40 minutes or until thick. Makes 6 cups.
Preheat oven to 200c/400f. Ladle soup into 1½ capacity oven-proof bowls and transfer to an oven tray. Scatter with half the cheese, top each with two toasted baguette slices and scatter with remaining cheese. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
© 2012, Michelle. All rights reserved.