|French Onion Soup|
I remember eating it in the 70s too. I would often order it as an appetizer, but then be too full to eat my main course.
I decided it was time to bring French Onion Soup back to my household's venacular late last year, so I've been hanging onto this amazing recipe by Canadian chef and fellow Maritimer, Michael Smith, since then. Smith is the host of his latest Food Network Canada show, Chef at Home, and I've been following it quite religiously.
This recipe takes 5 large onions. Hubby went to get them and I think he actually got giant onions, because this recipe made at least 8 portions, not the 4 it's noted for. I still have enough for one more generous serving in the freezer. I usually find the large onions don't bother me, but then I don't usually slice up 5 at a time. Oh, did my eyes burn!
We used Gruyere. I love how it tastes in my nose — like the cheesmaker somehow managed to add white wine to it!
I could have held off for a minute or two longer to get those lovely brown marks on the cheese, but the scent of cheese and onion was more than I could bear!
Come to me, my lovely! Just as always, I was full, satisfied and felt so young again!
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Michael Smith's French Onion Soup
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
5 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly
Splash of water
1/2 cup brandy
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (recipe from this episode)
Salt and pepper
4 slices slices multi-grain bread, cut into rounds to fit bowls, toasted
2 cups Swiss, Gruyere or emmenthal cheese, grated
Toss the butter, oil, onions and water into a large soup pot with a few pinches of salt.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and let the onions soften over a medium high heat, about 10 minutes.
When the water has evaporated, remove the lid, turn heat to low and begin to slowly caramelize onions, stirring frequently. This will take about one hour.
When the onions are a deep golden colour and have shrunk dramatically, add the brandy, thyme and broth.
Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven's broiler. Ladle the soup into 4 onion soup or ovenproof bowls and fit a slice of toast over each bowl.
Sprinkle each evenly with the cheese and place bowls onto a baking sheet.
Place under the broiler and broil until the soup is bubbling and the tops are golden brown.
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Verdict: Despite the fact that the onions didn't caramelize, this was some good soup! After we finished off the cheese (servings 3 and 4) we ate it for a couple of meals without and it was amazingly good! I've got at least one more serving in the freezer, but will wait until the craving hits again before eating it!