Sunday, January 20, 2013

Qu'est Pour Le Diner?

Guess what we're having for supper?

Old, dry baguette, bay leaves and dried thyme, Spanish, sweet white and red onions, shallots, all-purpose white flour, Gruyere cheese.
 Can you guess?  Here's another hint:

While browsing around Pete's Frootique the other day, looking for some culinary inspiration, I came across the awesome clearance shelf near the back and found a big variety pack of onions for 69 cents.  When I remembered that there was a baguette in our fridge at home that could, at this point, have only otherwise been used as an assault weapon, it became a no brainer.  Awww yisssss, French Onion soup!

French onion soup is a really cheap and easy meal to make, not to mention delicious and perfect for chilly days when you just need something to warm you to the bone.  You get together all the ingredients you see above and prep them - cut the baguette into about half inch slices, shred the Gruyere, thinly slice the onions.

First things first, melt a good chunk of butter in a sauce pan or pot.  

Add the onions.  I was making four bowls of soup so I ended up cutting the entire Spanish and sweet white onion, half the red onion, and all the shallots.

Seems like a lot but the whole caramelization process really shrinks them down.  I stir the uncooked onions around until they're all coated in butter and cover the pan, letting them cook slowly for about twenty minutes to half an hour.

The next step is to make your roux.  I just sort of push the onions aside and tilt the pan so the butter and the juices the onions have released drip down.  Then I stir in a couple tablespoons of flour and whisk until it forms a fairly thick paste.

Once you have achieved your desired consistency, stir the paste into the onions evenly and let it cook for a few minutes, until the flour loses it's graininess, and it's browned a bit.

Then start stirring in your broth.  I used beef broth here, which is the traditional choice, but I have often made it with veggie broth, which creates a much lighter coloured soup.  Both are super yummy.

I used about three and a half cups of broth.  Then I turned the heat up and brought the soup to a slow boil.

Time to add the herbs.  I tossed in three bay leaves and this much thyme.

I suppose it's about half a teaspoon.  I covered the pan up again, turned the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer about ten more minutes.  Then I divided the soup in four portions in the French Onion soup bowls, places a few of the crusty bread slices on top of each and covered them with cheese.

I always put the bowls on a baking sheet or something similar to make it easier and tidier to put them in and take them out of the oven.  So into the oven they went and there they sat under the broiler for another ten minutes, or until they look all browned and bubbly.

C'est bon!  Delicieux!  Oh la la!  Mais, oui!

I'll leave you today with another little French treat as well:

Amazing, no?

Till next time, friends!

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