Friday, January 14, 2011

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee

aka: French Onion Soup with Croutons and Cheese
pgs 43-45 Mastering the Art of French Cooking (ed. 1)

5 c. Thinly Sliced Yellow Onions (I used 3 c. cuz Nick's gma had written  that 2.5 were sufficient)
3 Tb  Butter
1 Tb  Oil
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Sugar  (I used organic raw sugar)
3 Tb Flour  (I used whole wheat and you'd never have known)
2 Qt Boiling Beef stock  (I used organic "Better than Bullion" to make my stock)
1/2 c. dry white wine or dry vermouth
Toasted Rounds of French Bread (I used whole wheat croutons I made from leftover bread) 
Sliced Swiss Cheese or Gruyere
As always, the best way to understand these recipes is to get a copy of the book, whose instructions are extensive, but here's a synopsis:

Melt the butter & oil together on low heat, add in onions and sweat for 15 minutes.  

Add salt and sugar and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring constantly, until onions are completely and thoroughly browned.  

Sprinkle in flour and stir for 3 minutes

Add the stock and wine and simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.  

At this point, you can set it aside if you aren't ready to serve it,  

30 min before serving, float croutons in it, top with sliced cheese and bake for 30 min @ 325

When I was flipping through MtAoFC, I wanted to make this recipe weeks ago, but my burly man didn't think a soup made from onions could possibly be filling enough to constitute our evening meal.  I put it off at first, but then I decided to make a meatloaf with it.  This was very brave of me because I have a HORRIBLE track record with meatloaf, and because of that, I haven't made it at least in the 2 years we've lived in this house.  Honestly, I don't think I've made it in at least 3 years.  I went with a new recipe since the past ones had been such flops and was pleasantly surprised, aside from not staying in slice form when removed from the pan, it was ok though im not sure we"ll ever really be meatloaf people.  The soup, much to Nick's surprise (Though not so much to mine) was Extremely filling.  I didn't make it halfway through either my meatloaf or my soup before I was so full you could have rolled me out of there.  Adding the flour to the onions before adding the stock created almost a rue and made the soup have a slight gravy-like quality to it.  Most French onion soups I have had in my life had a more transparent, less substantial quality to them.  Though it perhaps could have done with less salt (this may have been my bullion, since 1 tsp really isn't much for 2 quarts), I must say I foound the soup delicious and perfectly sufficient for a meal completely without meatloaf.  

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