French Onion Soup

So, we went a grand opening of a grocery store the other day and ended up with the oddest selection. 12 packages of ramen noodles, cat socks (socks with cats, not for cats), bags of tiny dumplings, and the ultimate deal: 10 pounds of onions for $2. I was then left with wondering how the heck I was going to use up so many onions. French onion soup was the first on the list as it used almost a whole sack up, just on its own. This recipe is a mash-up of a couple recipes. Including an “English” onion soup by Jamie Oliver. 

The one thing I love about onion soup, besides the cheese of course, is that it doesn’t really taste like onions. No harshness or bite, just a silky and slightly sweet onion taste. This taste comes from the extended cooking time of the onions. It seems like they’ll never cook down and suddenly, they’re ready for the broth! A tip for all that slicing – use a mandolin and get the fan on the oven going. The mandolin will give a nice, consistent, and thin slice, and will cut down the time doing it. Oh, and I find onion goggles are great even when cutting green onions. In this instance, they’re almost a life saver!

You just look like a hardcore skier while cutting your onions, all while saving your eyes from watering and ending up looking like Alice Cooper.

So if you have a bucket of onions that need using up, French onion soup is the way to go. You can freeze the soup (sans bread/cheese) as well! 

French Onion Soup
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French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4-5 onions sliced thinly
  • 3 large shallots sliced thinly
  • 3 small leeks sliced thinly
  • sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 7 sage leaves divided into 4 and 3
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Baguette
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup Asiago cheese grated
  • Sherry dry vermouth, or brandy

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Once melted, add the oil. Add the sliced onions, leeks, and shallots.
  • Stir to coat with the butter and let cook down (covered with the lid slightly ajar) for about 15 minutes. Stirring to toss occasionally.
  • Add 4 of the sage leaves, minced garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Let cook down covered with the lid slightly ajar, stirring every ten minutes for 50 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the wine, deglazing the pan. Let cook down until the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the broth, remaining wine, 3 sage leaves, and bay leaves.
  • Start heating the broiler on your oven at this time.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn heat down again to medium and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Slice a baguette in 3/4 inch slices, and toast 2 pieces per bowl of soup for 1 minute. Flip over and toast for another minute or so, until they JUST start turning brown.
  • Remove from broiler, and rub the more toasted side with the clove of garlic.
  • Place a teaspoon of brandy in the bottom of each soup cup.
  • Ladle the soup into the cups, place 2 pieces of baguette on top of each (give a slight dunking, if needed, to fit), top with 1/4 cup of Gruyere and 1/8 cup Asiago (per cup).
  • Place cups onto foil lined cookie sheet, pop back under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese bubbles and just starts to brown.
  • Serve immediately with a warning that the soup AND bowl are hot!

Notes

Use a mandolin on thin setting to slice the onions, shallots, and leeks. Makes slicing go by quickly!
Most recipes called for a sherry, but all I had was some Torres 5 Year Brandy, and it tasted wonderful.
FRENCH ONION SOUP

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