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Thursday, February 23, 2012

French Onion Soup

One of my favourite soups is french onion, and today I had the biggest craving for a nice big bowl of it. So, I decided to make a pot! Despite how fancy it looks (and tastes), its actually surprisingly easy. I'll share with you all how I make it! 

2 tbsp butter
3lbs sweet onions (about 3-4 medium sized onions; I used vidalia onions)
1 tbsp flour (optional)
1 box beef broth (about 900mL)
1 cup dry white wine 
a few sprigs of fresh thyme (you can use dried too if that's what you have)
salt & pepper
slices of baguette
swiss cheese 

First, you'll want to start by slicing up all your onions. While you do that, start melting the butter in a big soup pot over medium heat. Put all the sliced onions into the pot, and fry the onions until they become brown and sweet. 

Caramelizing the onions will take some time. Its meant to be a bit of a slow process, so just be patient and I promise the results will be worth it! It took me about half an hour. Eventually, your onions will look something like this:

Now this part is optional, but if you want a little bit of a thicker broth you can add a tbsp of flour at this point. 

If you do add flour, make sure to stir it in well and then let it cook for about a minute or so to cook out that raw flour taste. 
Now you're ready to add the broth and white wine.

Once you add the liquids, make sure to take the spoon and de-glaze the bottom of the pot. Basically, de-glazing is just scraping the spoon along the bottom of the pot to pick up all the brown bits left over from whatever you've just browned (onions, in our case). Now you can go ahead and add the fresh thyme. Add plenty of salt and pepper too to suit your tastes. At this point, put on the lid and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes. You want to cook out the alcohol taste of the wine and let all the flavours meld together. 

While the soup is simmering, slice up your baguette. I like to slice mine on a bias so that there's more surface area to the bread. After you have your slices cut, toast them up. 

After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, ladle it into individual oven-safe bowls. Arrange the bowls on a baking tray just in case anything spills over in the oven. Top each bowl with a slice of your toasted baguette, then top each with a slice of swiss cheese. 

Set your oven to broil and put the soups in. Make sure you keep an eye on them, as the broiler really likes to burn things! It will only take a few minutes, and then you'll end up with delicious french onion soup like this:


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