French Onion Soup ~ More Splendid


6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
10 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons Cognac or Brandy
1 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 baguette
sea salt to taste
1/2 loaf day old, good quality bread, a baguette or cibatta bread works well


In a large saucepan, over medium high heat, melt the butter, then add the sliced onions. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Allow the onions to caramelize at a leisurely pace in their butter bath (about 30 minutes), stirring and tossing them about every 5 minutes until soft and golden to deep brown.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine. To deglaze: push the onions to one side of the pan, and pour in the cup of wine. Using a wooden spoon, or rubber spatula, stir the wine and scrape up any baked on bits of onion attached to the pan.
Sprinkle the flour onto the onions and lightly toss the onions until the flour absorbs the pan liquids and browns along with the onions (3-5 minutes). Add a little more butter if necessary during the cooking process.
Add the broth, Cognac, and bay leaves and allow the soup to simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves. At this stage the soup can be served or refrigerated for up to 3 days until ready to use.
When it's splendid soup time:
Reheat the soup, if necessary.
Check the racks in the stove and adjust them to accommodate a tray of soup bowls, the top of the bowls should be about 6-8 inches from broiler, turn the oven on to broil.
While the soup is heating slice the bread and cheese.
Ladle soup into oven proof bowls.
Top each bowl of soup with slices of bread.
Top the bread with slices of cheese.
Put the soup bowls on a baking tray and slide it into the oven. In 5-10 minutes the cheese should be bubbly, golden and beginning to brown in some spots. Be sure to check the soups often to prevent burning...I usually set a timer as a reminder.
From the oven, bubbly hot vessels will emerge with a delicious, comforting combination of flavors and textures!


Don't mind the marks of the broth that bubbled over the lip, it's a part of the rustic charm of this soup.

Pass the salad and the chilled Chablis and put another log on the fire.




Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 8:13pm


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