Tuesday, 29 November 2011

French Onion Soup

I bought a big bag of onions for less than a euro.
The first thing that came to mind was onion soup.
Not that I've ever made it before, but I've always been good at ordering it in restaurants.

So I searched the Internet for French Onion Soup recipes and found many, too many.
Luckily I came across this recipe from Nigel Slater.
What I like about it was the short list of ingredients and the clear instructions.
It worked like a charm.

Here is a copy of the recipe, I followed it step by step, except I found that I had to cook the onions for about an hour which is slightly longer than suggested in the recipe. I also used Parmesan cheese instead of the cheeses below.

Serves 4-6
700g onions
40g butter
2 tbsp flour
1.75 litres beef stock
1 glass of white wine
Baguette to toast
Gruyère or Emmenthal
Peel and thinly slice 700g onions, then leave them to soften in 40g butter and a small glug of olive oil over a low to medium heat. Stir them regularly. They are ready when they are soft, sticky, sweet and deep gold in colour. Some add a pinch of sugar at this point to help the onions caramelise. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of flour, cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in 1.75 litres of boiling beef stock and a glass of white wine. Partially cover with a lid and leave to simmer for a good 45 minutes.
Season, ladle into deep, heatproof bowls, place several thin slices of toasted baguette on to each, then cover with thinly sliced Gruyère or Emmenthal. Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes or grill until the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted but not browned.
The magic
The trick to getting this soup right is that the onions caramelize – they must cook for at least 35-40 minutes over a low to moderate heat. Only when the onions are soft enough to crush easily between finger and thumb can you add the flour and stock.
The twist
Contemporary versions can involve roasting the onions in the oven to give a more concentrated sweetness. Red onions produce the sweetest version of all, so you might like to add thyme and bay as a balance. Parmesan in place of Gruyère produces a less fatty but just as tasty crust.

Thank you Nigel Slater!!

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