Saturday, April 15, 2017

Trying Something New in our French Onion Soup

One of Suzy's favourite things is French Onion Soup. With beef broth as the base it has sadly been off the menu since she became a vegetarian last spring. However, this past winter her mother, Marilyn, mistook our vegetable stock for beef stock and the thought occurred... Why not make it with vegetable stock? Even an ancient recipe (it features in Apicus' 4th century treatise De Re Cucinare) can be fiddled with! Good Friday seemed to be just the right occasion to try it out as part of a meatless feast with the usual suspects. Their verdict? So delicious that everyone has asked for recipe. Without further ado here it is!

Peel, halve, and finely slice:
16 medium onions (about three pounds)
In a large dutch oven over medium-low heat add:
4 tbsp of butter
4 tbsp of olive oil
When the butter and oil is hot add the onions and stir to coat them. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium, and add:
2 tsp of salt 
1/2 tsp of sugar
Continue to cook until the onions are a rich golden-brown, stirring frequently, about one hour.  When the onions are ready add:
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add:
3 liters of vegetable stock made from roasted vegatables
1 cup of dry french white wine
1/4 cup of cognac
Pinch of thyme
Bring the soup to a simmer, cover partially, and reduce heat and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring and skimming periodically.While the soup is simmering Preheat the oven to 325 dgerees and cut:
1 baguette into 1/2" rounds
Arrange them on a parchment covered baking sheet and toast them for 15 minutes in the oven. Take them out and brush both sides with:
Olive oil
and rub them with
1 clove of garlic, cut in half.
Toast them for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and switch it to broil. Distribute the soup into oven-proof ramekins or french onion soup bowls (use a canning funnel to keep the bowls clean) and add
2 toasted rounds of baguette 
to each bowl.  Arrange the bows on a baking sheet and distribute
8 oz Gruyere, grated
across the bowls. Place the sheet under the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown. Carefully serve the hot bowls!

P.S. We use very little salt when we make our stock. If you use salted stock please check before you add any more salt!

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