Tuesday, February 1, 2011

French Onion Soup

I stopped over at M's place on the night of the highly anticipated snow storm of the year, possibly the worst of its kind in over 2 years (ooh), carrying a knapsack that contained a couple of special items, including a lovely bottle of red wine that I had been saving (a gift from an old roommate) to pair with something delicious. The night was christened with a couple of hours of random Netflix picks while M. prepared icing for her swiss butter cookies. M. also served up this really wonderful French Onion soup that she had made. All of her soups are incredibly warming and tasty, but this one in particular was appropriate for this type of night. I jotted down the recipe for this one. Check it out.

8 small-med sized onions, thinly sliced
three cloves of garlic, grated
six sprigs of thyme, picked
2 litres of chicken broth
1 cup of apple cider
1 apple, grated
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup port
1/4 cup of red wine
salt and pepper

smoked cheese, i.e. smoked cheddar
olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Making the chicken broth: Boil chicken bone or any kind of chicken off-cut in a pot of water, covering the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer gently. Skim out the white foam from the pot. Add salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about an hour, or until the broth is at your desired flavour.

2. In a different pot, a larger one, heat some oil at a high heat. Add sliced thinly onions, grated garlic, thyme and grated apple. Add salt and pepper. Cook until mixture is well seasoned, until the onions are nicely browned and carmelized but not burnt. Stir it often enough so that the onions are a pasty texture.

4. On high heat, add the port. Scrape out the bare bits of onion from the bottom of the pot and deglaze it with the port. Separately add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and the apple cider and cook each portion until dry. Here, you are making a taste that is a mixture of sour, salty and sweet. Add the strained chicken stock.

Bring it to a boil and then to a gentle simmer for about one hour.


5. Cut 1/2 inch slices of baguette. Lay the the slices out on a sheet pan. Lightly brush oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the slices.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 300° F

To Finish

7. Pour the soup into small, oven-friendly bowls, to be served individually. Place crostinis into the soup bowls and cover it with some thinly sliced cheese and freshly cracked pepper. At 425° F, bake them in the oven for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 400 ° F and cook for another 10 minutes. Cook until bubbling and until the cheese, crostinis and soup are a golden brown.


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