Tuesday, December 29, 2009

French Onion Soup

We are bracing ourselves for another cold week here in NJ. Now that winter is in full swing, I am definitely in "soup" mode. It's the perfect meal to eat after battling the fierce winds we've been having.

Last night I ventured into completely new territory. Not only was this a recipe I never made before, it was also a soup I've never even tasted before. Several problems can arise from this situation. The most prominent of these problems being that I had no idea what the finished product should taste like! Lucky for me, my husband is something of a French Onion Soup expert. While we were eating, he explained to me that the soup itself usually tastes the same everywhere, but the bread and cheese is where most restaurants take some creative liberties. For example, at Panera Bread, they use croutons and shaved parmesean cheese while at a diner you will get a thick slice of bread covered with bubbly cheese straight out of the broiler.

The recipe I grabbed off food network didn't really give much direction, so I eyeballed a lot of the ingredients. As usual, my recipe additions are in italics below.

French Onion Soup
courtesy The Food Network Magazine, 50 Easy Soups


Ingredients

4 sliced onions (I used sweet onions)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 tablespoons butter
fresh ground pepper
6 cups beef broth


Directions

Cook 4 sliced onions and 2 thyme sprigs in butter, covered, 20 minutes.



Uncover; cook 1 hour (It only took 45 minutes for my onions to carmelize.), or until caramelized, stirring occasionally.



Add 6 cups beef broth; simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac Note: we didn't have any cognac in our liquor cabinet so I passed, salt and pepper.



Top with gruyere toasts. To make the toasts, I took two slices of italian bread and shredded gruyere cheese on top of them.



I placed them on a piece of foil and broiled them until the cheese was bubbly and crispy.


Servings: about 4 bowls



Chef's Notes

Like I said above, I omitted the cognac because we didn't have it. Apparently, it rounds out the taste of the soup, but we didn't miss it. The soup tasted delicious! To make it a little more healthy, I think I'm going to eat the leftovers without the bread, though. I served this with a side salad since I didn't think the soup would be filling enough alone.

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