jeudi, février 25, 2010

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée

I love French Onion Soup. It is probably my favourite European soup. And MIL has once shared her special recipe with me. It is from her region (Aveyron) where they alternate layers of caramelised onions and cantal cheese, but today I will just blog about the more common method of making this soup.

I like to make it a day in advance. This way, it is better and it would also be possible to remove any fat from the soup.

French Onion Soup :

1 Kg Onions (around 5-6 medium to large ones)
3 Tbsp Butter + 1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 Garlic cloves
1 Bay leaf
Half a Celery stalk
2 sprigs of Thyme
3 Tbsp chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar or Balsamic vinegar
200ml Red wine
200ml White wine
1 Tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
750ml Beef broth
750ml Chicken broth
Grated hard cheese e.g. Emmenthal, cheddar, cantal, gruyère
Baguette (stale is OK) or pain de campagne or Puff pastry

The key to a successful French Onion Soup lies in how you sweat your onions. In the past, they usually let the onions sweat it out for more than 2 hours to get them caramelised in their own sugar.

Peel and slice the onions and garlic. Put them in a heavy-bottom pot like Le Creuset or Staub, together with the butter (cut in pieces) and olive oil. Turn on the heat and cook the onions uncovered for the first 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

They should start to turn brown. Cover the pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Also stirring from time to time. It doesn't matter if the bottom of the pot is a little burnt.

The onions should be beautifully brown by now. Add the vinegar and herbs and mix well. I like to cook this soup in layers as I feel that it helps bring out the flavours better.

Pour in the red and white wine, cover the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add salt and pepper, then the beef and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for at least another hour.

Getting ready to go into the oven
To serve the soup, heat up the oven to 190°C. Pour the soup in an oven-proof dish (preferably individual) and place a few thick slices of the bread in it. Stale bread is good because it doesn't soak up the soup immediately and turn too soggy. Top with grated cheese and then bake in the oven (upper shelf) till the cheese has melted.

With Puff pastry
Since the Teenager loves his soup with puff pastry, I covered his with a puff pastry disc and baked it for 20 minutes in the same oven - but on the lower shelf. Yummy! This soup is always best when you make it yourself.

2 commentaires:

SIG a dit…

Gorgeous.It looks great! A Frenchman who makes excellent onion soup also mentioned le crueset.

Beau Lotus a dit…

Le creuset and staub pots are great for braising meats and making soups, for example.

But I'm very unlucky, Hub keeps spoiling our Le Creuset pots for some reason and I'm going to stop buying them as they cost so much.