Monday, December 6, 2010

My Dad's Rockstar French Onion Soup

The Third Annual Bloggy Progressive Dinner continues today and I invite you to join me right here for our second course- Soup and Salad.

I absolutely love French Onion Soup. One of my favorite meals to order when we make a (rare) restaurant visit is a small, medium-rare steak (ideally with blue cheese) and a cup of French Onion Soup. Mmmm. I think that melty, cheesy goodness on the top really seals the deal for me!

Lots of restaurants have good French Onion Soups but, if you ask me, my dad's is even better. After I bragged it up in my menu plan a few weeks back, he kindly offered to share the recipe with me. Hooray! And, really, how lucky are you all to be my friends and be privy to this great soup recipe too?

Ready? Well, let's go then!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb. onions, thinly sliced (2 large yellow onions did it for me)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar (I wouldn't have guessed this one!)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth (I used purchased broth because I'm not handy at making my own beef stock.)
  • heavy cream (Oh yeah, baby. This is what is going to truly elevate this from that watery canned stuff you can buy.)
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 3-4 pieces crusty bread, toasted (I made my own. You do NOT have to. I'm just over-ambitious like that sometimes. Or, um, too lazy to go to the store to buy a loaf...)
  • Swiss cheese

Now here's what to do:

Brown the onions slowly in the butter. Give 'em time. Keep it on low. Patience is a virtue. All that good stuff. You want them wonderfully brown and sweet, but not burned.
I gave it at least a half hour. But, really, you don't have to babysit them. Just give 'em a stir every now and again. Now add the sugar and cook for a few more minutes. Add the flour and cook for one minute, then add the stock (broth) and bring to a boil, stirring.

Simmer 20 minutes, then add cream to desired consistency. (I used 1/2 cup.) At this point, if you like a thick, rich soup, you can add a little flour/water paste or a bit of corn starch mixed in water. I added 1 teaspoon of corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water to mine.

Cut toasted bread into 1" squares and place in the bottom of separate oven-proof ramekins or bowls. Pour soup into ramekins and top with Swiss cheese.

Bake at 350 until soup bubbles and cheese is melted. Serve up that hot, bubbly goodness! (Use care if serving this around small children- or accident-prone people- those ramekins are HOT.)

(According to Dad, this soup can be frozen in ramekins. Place on baking sheet and bake at 300 straight from the freezer. I wouldn't know anything about this since the idea of not EATING IT ALL never even occurred to me.)

What, you're not a soup person?

Get thee away from me right now!

I kid.

Here are my two favorite salads to enjoy with a holiday meal:

Please link up YOUR favorite soup and salad recipes... I'd love to check them out! And join Amy tomorrow as she serves up the main course.

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