Soupe à l’oignon Gratinée : French Onion Soup
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
I was looking for something economical to balance out the price of other things in the meal when I thought of making French onion soup. I always have onions on hand, and the other items don’t amount to much, cave-aged cheeses cost more, but not very much is used there, and if you like, you could substitute with something like Parmesan, Asiago, or mundane Swiss cheeses. It does take a bit of monitoring and standing over to achive the best results, so this is not a recipe for when you are short on time. Don’t be fooled by recipes which skip the browning step for the onions- the caramelization of the sugars in them makes this soup or breaks it. And the amount of onions you start with may “seem” like a ton, but they will practically disappear. This recipe gives nods to Julia Child, since it is based heavily on her recipe, which is also excellent. You can’t go wrong with either recipe. It is a stunning soup chock full with depth of flavor and I do hope you enjoy.
Soupe à l'oignon Gratinée : French Onion Soup
- 3 large Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
- pinch sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 1 fresh French batard or baguette bread loaf
- 4 ounces cave-aged Gruyere cheese
- Place onions, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and water in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Cover pan and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Uncover, add a pinch of sugar and cook on low for about thirty minutes, stirring frequently, and lowering heat if onions start to stick.
- Sprinkle flour into onions as you would a roux, and cook for several minutes over low heat to remove the raw flavor from the flour; do not burn the roux.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in the wine and beef stock; place over medium heat and simmer, partially covered, for about another 45 minutes until golden colored; re-season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Toast 1/2 inch slices of French bread covered with grated gruyere cheese in an oven or toaster oven until cheese melts and is lightly browned.
- Serve cheese toasts with soup in bowls.
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