Sunday, April 27, 2008

French Onion Soup

French Onion SoupI adore French onion soup--really adore it. Maybe it's because Andrew hates onions so I can't get them around here and therefore I long for this soup even more. If they have it on the menu at a restaurant you can bet I'm ordering it.

The last time Andrew was out of town on business I decided that I was going to fix French onion soup just for me. I'd never made it before but figured how hard could it be?

Actually not hard at all, it takes a little patience because all those onions have to slowly simmer on low heat before they properly carmelize but if you can give it the twenty minutes it takes you've got yourself some sweet soup. My husband was out of town--I had plenty of time on my hands.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 cans (14.5 ounces each) beef broth
1 1/4 cups water
2 bay leaves
15 whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
8 ounces Gruyere, grated
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
6 slices crusty French bread, sliced

Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large heave skillet until bubbly then add onions and sprinkle with sugar, stirring to prevent it burning. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring onions regularly, until they are tender and deep golden brown, about 20 or 30 minutes.

Carefully stir in 1 can of the beef broth, deglazing the pan by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a larger stockpot and add the other cans of broth and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer 30 minutes. Add vinegar, stir to combine, remove bay leaves and spoon the soup into six oven proof bowls.

Top each bowl with a slice of bread and top each slice with grated Parmesan and Gruyere. Broil in oven until cheese is golden and bubbly, only about a minute or two, then serve immediately and savor those yummy onions.


Can you believe it? After that blizzard we had two weeks ago it's been 50 degrees and beautiful until yesterday when Blizzard Number Two came through town and dumped all over my slightly greening grass. I'm so depressed I can hardly stand it. Take a good look at the view from my kitchen--that's a tree and not a bush and the two steps going up to the playhouse are under snow. I swear it will never melt. Ever.

Snow in Anchorage, Alaska***

And finally, for those of you in the Seattle area I've been told there's a new fine arts organization called The Ranier Family Opera that will be providing free concerts in an effort to reach first-time opera goers. It might be a nice chance to introduce your children (or yourselves) to opera without the stiff price tag an opera usually carries. Follow the link for more information.

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Who we are... said...

mmmm...French Onion Soup...loverly!

At one of our favorite restaurants here in Germany, the favorite soup is a french onion soup, but it's made with a chicken broth base! I'd never had it that way before, but it sure is tasty!!!

Robin said...

French onion soup is one of my very favorite things to order. Someday I really must get a set of oven-proof bowls so that I can make it at home too.

Sorry about your snowstorm, that stinks.

Babystepper said...

Sorry about your snowstorm and all, although we would just love to have snow like that sometime. That kind of snowfall only happens every 5 years around here. We're all complaining cause it's a cold day here, too. (67) Tomorrow's back into the eighties though.

Lis Garrett said...

Oh, how I *love* French onion soup!

Would you believe that last weekend we reached a record high here in Ithaca - 85 degrees! In April!! I understand how you feel. Once you've had a taste of nice weather, snow is quite a downer.

Lisa Milton said...

That soup is just in time; I hope spring makes an appearance soon.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

But that snow is so lovely, and makes for perfect soup weather, right?

My dad hated onions too, and my mom liked onion sandwiches (bread, mayo, and onion).

Stephanie said...

It's so strange to see snow in photographs. I was just lamenting yesterday that summer has arrived a little too quickly. It's going to be over 90 degrees here tomorrow!

deniz said...

Ooooh. You've gone and made me jealous. Snow and French Onion Soup - what a wonderful combination!

It must get frustrating when you are waiting for spring to arrive, but here in the UK, certainly in Cambridgeshire, we just don't see that much snow. Just an hour or so (with it actually settling) at Easter was our lot this year :-(

Just want to say how much I love to read your blog. You write beautifully. So much so that I've linked to you on mine. Hope you don't mind.

April ~ Living the Sweet Life said...

This looks yummy delicious! I am into soups right now. Since winter has decided to stay in Utah-we had snow this week-it is just perfect.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Yum! My husband would love this. I'll have to try it some time. But, I guess I better make sure he is in town!

Beck said...

SNOW! We're supposed to get snow this week, too. Lucky, lucky us.
What is it with men and onions? I LOVE onions soup.

Cocoa said...

Mmmm... I love French Onion soup but have never tried making it myself. This I can do!

Prisca said...

That soup looks heavenly! I adore FOS. :) And opera on the same post-- wish I were anywhere near Seattle.

Maria-Gracia O'Connell said...

Hi Michelle:
My husband loves french onion soup, I will try your receipe soon.
I'm sorry about the snow, we live in Dallas, Texas and it snows only 1 or 2 times a year and I feel so cold!, today is going down to 48F, I guess that's not that bad. I've been raised in South America and any temperature below 70F makes me feel cold. Can you believe it?
If you would like to try peruvian dishes sometime, let me know and I will give you some receipes.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i love french onion soup, but i don't eat meat. i'm always looking for a good vegetarian recipe...have you eve r made this one without the beef broth?

i guess fr onion soup goes perfect with a snowy day?

Maria-Gracia O'Connell said...

I just posted a comment, I used my google blooger name and url but I appear as anonymous, maybe I did something wrong...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love making French onion soup. I use a mix of half chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium storebought, like Swanson's) and half beef broth. The secret is in caramelizing the onions.

Daisy said...

My husband makes French Onion Soup every Thanksgiving. His recipe is a lot like yours. Yum.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

My sympathies on the snow, Michelle. It feels like we're stuck in some sort of horrible winter loop, doesn't it?

The soup looks divine, but I think I'll have to save it for next fall. I'm not making any more soups, in the hopes that it will lure spring out of hiding.

Mama Zen said...

I don't what it is, but this year it feels as if spring will never really get here!

Sonja said...

The recipe sounds delicious. We are onion lovers at my house. Even my 1 year old. Good thing too, because we can all tolerate the onion's after effects. Weird, huh?

Oh, terribly sorry about the snow. Hope you have lots of cocoa. And chocolate and marshmallows for indoor s'mores. :)

Thank you so much for mentioning the gig. I really appreciate it! :)

angelkissesalaska said...

That snowstorm was amazing! On our side of town, we got 22 inches. Unbelievable. The soup sounds warming and wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I have to eat Tuna Helper when my hubby is away. He can't stand the idea of cooked tuna.

We are getting snow here today! Better than black flies, but not by much.

canadacole said...

I ADORE French Onion Soup, but I'm the only one in my family. President's Choice (Canadian) makes a nice single serving that you cook from frozen, but I think I'm going to have to give your recipe a try!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

My mother-in-law recently gave me a recipe for French onion soup with fennel in it. I haven't tried it, but I want to. It is one the most comforting foods ever.

Scribbit said...

Phyllis--I tracked down a vegan recipe that I'd seen before that got great reviews:


Jena said...

I love getting a glimpse of life in Alaska. The pictures are great, esp with the tulips in the foreground.

all over the map said...

Just when I thought Andrew a cool guy because he, like me, hates the mushroom. But onions? Oh dear!
French Onion soup is absolutely one of my faves. The oohey, gooey melted perfection on top. I think I eat onions daily, no joke. I LOVE onions that much and the smell of sautéed ones milling throughout the house makes me uber happy.