Thursday, October 20, 2011

French Onion Soup

Just in time for real fall weather, the theme for this week's recipe swap on A Taste of Home Cooking was soups and stews.  I was happy to get Hezzi-D's recipe for French onion soup.  I love it, from the rich caramelized onions in it to the gooey, crusty cheese and bread on top.  But sadly, I'm the only person in the house willing to touch it, so I rarely bother to make it for myself.

Since I am the only person who would eat it, I only made a third of the original recipe, and so simmered it stovetop rather than trying to get it to work in such a small quantity in the slow cooker.  Normally, I'd just use a smaller dish in the insert, but I was going to be home to keep an eye on the soup.  It was delicious, tons of onion flavor, with just a hint of sweetness from the caramelization.  I also really liked the addition of seared steak for a little extra beef flavor.  I used a skirt steak, and then sliced it up for sandwiches and quesadillas later in the week rather than leaving it in the soup.

French Onion Soup
adapted from a Paula Deen recipe via Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

What's in it:

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp butter, divided
2 tsp sugar
1 steak of your choice, cut into 1/2" dice if you plan to leave it in the soup
¼ c dry white wine
2 c beef broth
1 c. water
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I used 2 tsp because I love how it brings out the beef flavor)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf

baguette slices, for topping and serving
3/4 c Gruyere cheese, grated

How to make it:

In a medium soup pot, melt one tablespoon of the butter. Add the steak, cooking to desired doneness if leaving whole for another purpose.  Remove steak, and set aside or store as desired.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the pot.  Once it is melted, add the sliced onions. Sprinkle the sugar on top and saut√© over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes.  Add wine, and bring to a boil, making sure to scrape up all of the brown bits off the bottom.
Add the beef (if including in the soup), broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, butter the baguette slices with the remaining tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with a little extra black pepper, and broil until golden brown, 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and where the rack is.

Turn on the broiler. Ladle the soup into oven proof bowls or mugs. Top with toasted bread and grated Gruyere cheese.  Broil 6 inches from heat for about 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browned.  Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Steak, huh? Interesting addition and I'm sure the flavor from the soup made the skirt steak fantastic for other recipes.

    Thanks for being part of the recipe swap!