I am happy to report that it is officially French onion soup season! Marc gave me some oven-safe soup crocks for Christmas last year, and we delighted in having French onion soup on a semi-regular basis. We sadly put them away during the warmer months, but, now that the temperature has dropped, it’s time for French onion soup again!
We’ve learned that, because this is such a simple soup, buying quality ingredients is important! We learned that last year when we tried out a pricier Gruyere cheese, and it was reinforced this year when we used quality baguettes instead of the Trader Joe’s variety. Yesterday, we purchased Gruyere from Murray’s Cheese and baguette from Amy’s Bread. (We also got some chocolate twists while in Amy’s Bread … but those were for eating immediately, yum.)
under the broiler
If you’re interested, the soup method (based on a Mark Bittman recipe and adapted for us) is after the jump.
1. Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. (We used the dutch oven – thanks again, Mom & Dad!)
2. Add 6 cups of thinly sliced onions. Allow the onions to caramelize for 45 minutes, stirring only occasionally, adjusting heat so that they won’t burn.
3. When the onions have caramelized, add 5 cups of beef broth and bring to an almost boil.
4. Add a couple of pinches of dried thyme and a bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Ladle soup in crocks, top with slices of baguette (either day-old or slightly toasted) and shredded cheese, and then put under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbled and browned.
6. Enjoy! (But enjoy carefully! It will be hot!)