Saturday, January 19, 2013

French Onion Soup

Before I went out on maternity leave, I tried to find and tuck away a stash of recipes that I would be easy to make while caring for an infant. This is the first one I've used and think it went pretty well. From start to finish, it takes about 3 1/2 hours to complete this recipe; however most of that time is for the onions to cook in the oven with no attention needed. The most time-consuming part is cutting up the onions (which I did with Audrey in the next room and the fan on the stove going full blast, as I was apprehensive about the onions bothering her eyes) and that could really be done the day before if necessary. We had this soup for dinner and put the rest in the freezer for another day. It was the perfect dinner for a gross, rainy night.

French Onion Soup
adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Serves 6.

Preheat oven 400ยบ

To a large oven-safe pot, add:
9 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced from pole to pole
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt

Cover and place in preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 45 minutes and again after 90 minutes. Remove from oven and place on stove over medium-high heat.

Cook uncovered for ~15 minutes, stirring every so often, until moisture evaporates.

1/2 cup water
Cook for ~5 minutes, stirring until water evaporates.

1/2 cup water
Cook for ~5 minutes, stirring until water evaporates.

The onions will be dark brown at this point, which is why they will taste so good in your soup!

1/2 cup dry vermouth
Cook for ~ 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

2 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

Let simmer for 30 minutes to develop the flavors. Remove bay leaf prior to serving. Meanwhile, prepare toasted baguette slices.

Place on a lipped cookie sheet:
24 slices of french baguette

Drizzle liberally on both sides with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and dried thyme. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cover each piece of bread with a slice of gruyere cheese*. Place back in oven and broil for 60-90 seconds or until cheese is bubbly.

*Gruyere is the traditional cheese used when making french onion soup; however, I must admit that I didn't have any so I used Muenster cheese instead and thought it was quite delicious!

Place four pieces of bread in each bowl of soup.

Eat up!

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