Friday, January 20, 2012

French Onion Soup by Dishes

Welcome back to our monthly featured food guest, Ashley from Dishes!

As you may know from my previous posts, I have very little time for cooking because of work and mom responsibilities, but can never resist a yummy meal. A lot of my recipes start with the statement, usually out lout to my hubby, “Wouldn’t it be yummy if we could have…” Then I start dreaming of how I would make it, usually not even knowing how it’s really made. Luckily, it usually turns out alright. This recipe was born this way. Prior to having the craving, I would have told you I will never make French Onion Soup- it seems WAY too hard! It turns out, it was easier than I could have imagined. Give it a try and you’ll be impressed. This recipe will make 2 hearty but can easily be doubled.
So here are the ingredients and some possible substitutes:

 ¾ cup Red cooking wine (can substitute white)

French Bread (any bread you have on hand or croutons)

4 slices Swiss Cheese (I use this to keep the fat low and the flavor as close to the original as possible; you can use Gruyere which is the traditional, or you can try provolone or mozzarella if you have it on hand)

1 Onion

2 Cups broth (I use vegetable bouillon, but beef will give you a more traditional flavor)

1 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

Parsley and Thyme (fresh or dried)

Minced garlic

 The onions will take the longest to make, but you really don’t have the watch them. I literally put them on and ran to the store, which is a good 10 minutes away, to get a loaf of bread while they cooked. Cut the onion in half, lay the halves flat and make slices about as wide as your little finger. Melt the butter in a skillet on medium-low (my gas stove was set on 2), then add the onions, 1/8 cup parsley, 1 TBSP thyme, and minced garlic (only if you’re using fresh. If you use pre-prepared, then wait until you add the broth). You can add some Bay leaves if you’d like also. Do not stir! Go hang out with the family, and don’t worry if the onions burn a little. Just let them sit there for about 15-20 minutes, then stir once. Here’s a picture from when I got back to the stove:

 Cook onions for about 10-20 minutes longer (really, don’t worry if they burn a little!). Turn the burner up to med-high and add ¾ cup of wine so that it boils. Bring the burner down to a simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

At this point, there’s a few things we can do to save time later. Ff you have fresh bread we need to get it crispy. Turn your boiler on and put your bread in the oven for a few minutes each side until brown. You can do this simultaneously as your doing the other steps. You could also just use a toaster or toaster over if you have one available, but you may have to do several batches for smaller toasters. I burnt my bread a little, as you can see below, but you couldn’t tell when the soup was said and done.  *You’ll see foil over my pan in the oven because I hate doing dishes! You can reuse the foil and then throw it out instead of washing your pans each time.

If you’re using Bouillon cubes, put them in 2 cups hot water for them to start breaking down for a little later.

While you’re waiting on the oven to preheat for the bread, or while the bread is in the oven, add 2 TBSP flour to your onion mix and stir. Keep the onions on the burner for a few minutes longer to integrate the flavor into the flour. (By the way, check your bread if it’s in the oven, but keep your oven on broil for a little later.)

Now, add 2 cups of broth to your pot (notice we’ve only used 1 pot!). Stir it in and let it simmer for just a few minutes. 

Put soup into ovenable bowls, and top with your bread croutons and then cheese. I didn’t even chop mine up- just threw it on there.

Put into the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is browning and bubbly. Let it cool because it will be very hot. Then, enjoy!

Check out more recipes or contact me on my blog!

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