Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Has Arrived

I love French Onion Soup! It's much too heavy for the warmer months, however as soon as it starts getting colder in October, it's the perfect time to bring back French Onion Soup. I've tried several different versions of this soup, and this one is one of the best. It's Tyler Florence's French Onion Soup recipe from The Food Network. I made a few changes in italics. I served this with a Caesar salad.

French Onion Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs (I used 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle (3/4 cup merlot)
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour (2 tbsp flour)
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere (1 slice swiss, 1 slice provolone cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan)

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir.

Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere (or swiss/provolone/parmesan) and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

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