Merry Christmas everyone! I am having a sparkly day (meaning rather content and feeling warm and fuzzy inside). The tree is up and beautiful; Coldplay has a concert playing on the TV, and I have tons of onions. So what do I do? I make French Onion Soup.
I mean really I have about 15 onions, what else am I supposed to do. 😉
(Side note: Coldplay reminds me of a friend who went to London on the same study program I did. She is wonderful! And I am missing her.)
So French Onion Soup. It is one of the first soups I remember loving and begging my mom to make for me. I love the cheese, onions, and deep beefy flavor. In the past I have made several recipes, but I cannot remember which one I love the most. So I followed a few trusted chefs, Julia Child (I love her recipes, very specific) and Skinnytaste (this woman is brilliant). So the basics are their’s, but I added stuff, and changed stuff, and… I got vegetable broth at the store. Grr. Does anyone else do that, they look at the beef broth and pick up something different? I have done it to tomato soup, hummus, garbage bags. It is rather frustrating, but never fear. I will make this soup by improvising.
I do have the onion soup mix from Lipton, so I am going to add that, plus some mushrooms (a few I would prefer more, but I am not going to the store again), and some Worcestershire sauce. ;0 (And some brandy and wine, yep… yum).
Because I am making this up as we go along, here is what I did.
French Onion Soup
- 4 medium onions, sliced (careful, your eyes are watering)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup of red wine
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups of broth (better to be beef broth, but I picked up veggie, so)
- *1 package of Lipton Onion Soup (needed to make it beef broth)
- 2-4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Swiss cheese (I am not even going to attempt to tell you how much is enough. Personal preference reigns here.)
Heat the oil and butter in a large cast-iron pot over medium low. Once that is warm, add the onions. Stir to coat everything in the oil and butter. Cook until softened about 5-10 minutes. (I covered the pot to help everything soften.) Add a bit of salt. After the onions are softened, add the mushrooms, and turn the heat to medium. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized. (Tip: have water on hand. I personally cannot caramelize onions without adding water periodically to keep things moist and cooking down.) OMG! These onions are taking forever to caramelize! Here’s a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that actually caramelizes the onions in the oven. Interesting concept. NEWHO
After the onions are caramelized, add the wine. Cook until completely reduced, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the flour, and stir. Cook the flour and onions for about 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour flavor. Add the Worcestershire sauce,stock, *Lipton onion packet, and herbs. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to your taste, and discard the large herb pieces.
Spoon into a bowl. ***Here’s a choice. Make plain cheese toast with swiss cheese, or put the bread and cheese over your oven proof bowl and broil. Your choice. 😉 Enjoy.
Oh and Julia recommends drizzling in some cognac at the end as well (before the bread and cheese). That sounds amazing, but I do not have any… I do have brandy… hmm.
This reminds me of an old recipe that is amazing. A friend who shared my love for French Onion Soup shared it with me. Back before Pinterest (which the recipe is now going on my board). 😉
*So don’t make the same mistake I did. Buy beef broth. But if you don’t, add another cup of water with the onion soup mix.
P.S. Today is Jane Austen’s birthday! Yay! Happy birthday, Jane! You are awesome, and I love your books.