Hi there. Remember me? I seemingly disappeared upon leaving the Alps, so no dear reader I did not run off to live in an Alpine cabin with a few goats goats never to blog again. I could make many excuses for my negligence here, but they would just be (semi-valid) excuses. So instead, heartfelt apologies my friends. I am back! And more exciting, I am living in Colorado! As of last Wednesday I am a resident of Colorado. So you see, you were almost right. I ran off to live in the Rocky Mountains, and for a few days there were goats living in my back yard. So with this new chapter I am determined to make time for things that make me happy, like cooking and blogging.
I’ve always found the best place to make anywhere feel like home is to cook dinner there. The smells, the routine, and the joy of a good meal always settle me into a new place. So for a one week in Colorado celebration, yesterday I made French Onion Soup! Cheesey, warm and homey. What more could I want for a rainy evening? And trust me folks, this recipe will fill your home with delightful smells. Nothing like onions and butter.
French Onion Soup
Adapted from The Science of Good Cooking
Cook Time: 3 hours
2 lbs onions (sweeter are better)
1.5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 cups beef broth
2 bay leafs
1 small baguette
4 oz shredded gruyere
1. For the Soup: Place oven rack in lower middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the inside of a dutch oven (or oven proof pot and lid) with oil. While your oven is preheating chop your onions into 1/4 inch thick pieces slicing through the root end. Add onions, butter and 1/2 tsp salt to the dutch oven. Cook, covered for 1 hour (onions will be clear, moist, and slightly reduced in volume). Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Stir and scrape the onions after 1 hour.
2. Carefully remove pot from oven (leaving it on). At this stage if you want to stop, you can put the onions in the fridge overnight, or until you need them and then restart from here on out. Cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, unitl liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15-20 mins. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bottom of pot is coated with dark crust, 6-8 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary. Stir in 1/4 cup of water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6-8 mins. Repeat prcoess of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark and brown. Stir in wine and cook, stirring frequently, until wine evaporates, about 5 mins.
3. Stir in 1 cup water, chicken broth, beef broth, bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to hight and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 mins. Remove and discard herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. For the cheese croutons: While soup simmers cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 10 mins, until golden, dry and crisp. Set aside.
5. Adjust the oven rack to 7-8 inches below broiler and turn on the broiler. If you have oven proof crocks, place 3 on a sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cup soup. Top each with a few baguette slices and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, 3-5 mins. If you do not have oven proof crocks (like me, you can also put the bread and cheese on a pan under the broiler and transfer it to the soup. If you do this hold a little cheese behind to sprinkle on the soup at the end.