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Soupe à l’Oignon

November 23, 2009

I grew onions. Yes. Oh, onions AND leeks. How cool is that? And lots! I had no idea I would have more onions than I knew what to do with, because I love onions and I love cooking and well most savoury dishes use onions. I also grew way too many chile peppers (an experiment from seed) but that’s completely irrelevant to this post.

I suppose before I continue I should apologize for my absence. Well, to myself more than anyone else, I’m not sure if anyone follows this (YET – positive thinking).

Anyway, check out these bad-ass onions.

So, I thought what better way to feature these bad-ass onions? French Onion Soup? Why not? I’d only had it once, years ago, and it sounded really nice. And then I thought “who would be a good reference for this dish?”. Well Julia Child of course. I had some beef stock I’d made and Sarah was home, we had the night to ourselves, it was set.

I did something I never do. I followed the recipe. Almost. But its the closest I’ve come. I guesstimated the amount of onions and butter I was using, only because I forgot to measure. After that it was Julia Child’s recipe. Oh, I also used brandy instead of cognac. But that’s the only other change.

And yes – the soup was amazing. Incredibly filling, incredibly good. This was magnified by the fact that I had cultured these onions in my own backyard and made the beefstock myself from scratch. In the end the soup had my name all over it, even if I used Julia Child’s recipe, and it was very satisfying.

Soupe à L’Oignon

(Julia Child)

(*Disclaimer: This soup is not a starter, it is a meal – we made the mistake of eating it after a small meal and were pinned to the couch unwillingly after. You’ve been warned.)

about 5 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions (I used a combination of leeks, red and Vidalia onions)
3 Tb butter
1 Tb oil
1 tsp salt
1\4 tsp sugar
3 Tb flour
2 quarts boiling brown stock
1\2 cup dry white wine
3 Tb cognac
Rounds of hard toasted baguette
grated Swiss cheese
s + p

1. Cook the onions slowly (after slicing them very quickly!) with the butter and oil in the pan, covered, for 15 minutes
2. Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook until the onions have turned dark golden brown, stirring frequently. Can take anywhere from 30mins to an hour.
3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes. (I think I even stirred for 3 minutes)
4. Off the heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine, and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.
5. Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into a soup tureen, top with baguette, then cheese, and melt until almost brown under the broiler.

Bon Appétit.

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