Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Monday, December 21, 2015

French Onion Soup

One of my most favorite Christmas traditions is preparing a big pot of French Onion Soup. There are few aromas in the kitchen which match the heavenly scent of onions and butter simmering away on the stove top.

It's customary to ladle up the soup into oven safe mugs or bowls, place the toasted bread and cheese on top and slide it under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned. But that can't happen with my good china! So I went to plan B, toasted the sliced baguette, topped with lots of shredded Gruyere and then slide the pan back into the oven. THEN placed the bread and cheese goodness on top of the soup to serve!

5 lbs. yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
few grinds of black pepper
1/2 t. sugar
3 cups sweet red wine
2 cans beef consomme
4 cups beef stock
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dried thyme
2 bay leaves

Over low heat, place onions, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar into a 5 - 7 quart Dutch oven. Stirring occasionally, let onions soften and begin to brown. The process of caramelizing the onions will take 30 - 45 minutes. Make sure the onions don't begin to stick and burn.

Add the wine, consomme, beef stock, and Worcestershire sauce and raise heat to allow soup to come to a gentle boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, add the thyme and bay leaves and cover. Let soup simmer for several hours.

If you want to let soup cool and refrigerate overnight, it will taste better the next day. Skim off any fat that forms on top of the soup.

Gently reheat and ladle into bowls. Place a piece of toasted bread on top of soup and cover with grated Gruyere cheese. Place under oven broiler until cheese is melted, browned, and bubbly. Serve immediately.

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