Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gumbo's Recipe - French Onion Soup

Since I've been away on vacation and have had all my meals cooked for me the last several days (*thanks, Roger!*), I don't have fresh photos to share for this recipe, but I can guarantee it's deliciousness.

We've just turned on our heater this morning for the first time of the year, so something good and warming will be on my menu tonight. What's your favorite cold weather recipe that says, "Ah, winter's coming, and this will taste soooo good."?

French Onion Soup

3 T butter or Smart Balance (A great healthy butter substitute!)
6 large yellow onions cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups water, plus 1/2 cup for deglazing
1/2 cup cooking sherry
4 cups chicken broth (or stock if you have it)
2 cups beef broth
Cheese Croutons
1 small baguette of french bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)

Adjust oven rack to low-middle position and heat oven to 400. Spray inside of a heavy large (7- or 8-quart) heavy pot or Dutch oven generously with nonstick spray or use more butter to coat. Place the butter in pot and add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. (*Note, if you have leftover grilled onions from, say like a concession stand cook-out or home BBQ, these work great and reduce cooking time to almost nothing!) Cook covered for for 1 hour. Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides. Return pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue cooking cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, about 1 1/2 hours longer, stirring & scraping after an hour.

Remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until liquid evaporates and the onions brown, about 15 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes. Pot will begin to form a dark crust.

Stir in 1/4 cup water, loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, about 7 more minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are dark brown. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the broths, 2 cups of water, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. (Remember that crock pot roast and gravy you made a few days ago? If you still have it, you can substitute it for the beef broth and also chip up the meat and add it to your soup. Talk about good!)

Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and season with salt and pepper.

Topping Croutons - While the soup simmers, arrange the bread slices in single layer on cookie sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven until crisp and golden at the edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Just before serving:
Adjust oven close to broiler and heat. Set oven-safe crocks on cookie sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 2 bread slices without overlapping, and add a layer of Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, about 4 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Yummers! And delicious heated up over and over again.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Ohhh, french onion soup! SOunds gooooodddd....

So enjoyed your visit - and Rog loved cooking for you *smiling* Big Boy Jake loves you and went looking for you last night and this morning...

and then this strange snow so early - I turned on the heater too!

Anonymous said...

You have stolen my heart today! French onion soup has to be my most favorite (other than potato). I order it everywhere I go and I love to make it at home.

Thanks for the recipe.

Erik said...

There is something magical about French Onion Soup. I love nearly anything that has been carmelized, but I think onions top the list.

Suzie said...

Wow that sounds good. Now I wish i didnt have a froZen rotten weight watchers meal for lunch

writtenexpressions said...

I love the idea of french onion soup, but I can't get past "soggy bread." Oh well.

My favorite "cold weather" food is chili, and the first pot of the year (which I made a week ago) is always the best!

Rachel Burton said...

Oh my goodness. Will you please bring the pot from that last photo over to my house, STAT? I'm usually a chili-on-cold-days type of gal, but that French Onion looks delicious!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Kat, next time you come here, I'll make ya the soup. Loved my visit. Pet Jake for me and give R a squeeze too.

Ang, let me know how it turns out if you try it. Adding in the leftover roast/gravy is awesome!

Ditto me, Erik. Thanks for stopping in.

LOL, there's always supper, Suzie.

WrittenExpressions, good soup and chili and the like are always get better as you serve them a few days later. :)

Rachel, I'll be right over. (Send mapblast directions, please.)

Melissa Marsh said...

Chili and cinnamon rolls! That is my ULTIMATE winter weather dish!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Melissa, I bet your cinnamon rolls don't come out of a can. Yummmm!

Barbara said...

Chili with crackers. Yummy!

Your recipe sounds tasty.

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

YUM! We just got our first cold snap here and your soup sounds perfect!!
Thanks for stopping by!!
I bet you are a wicked cool tailgater!! ; )

Angie Ledbetter said...

Barbara, and after the chili & crackers, Frito Pie! mmmmmm

Erin, are you in the South? We're all pros in tailgating in Tiger Country. :) I'll be back to your blog.

Janna Qualman said...

Ohmygoodness, how delicious would that be with freshly baked French bread?!

Mandy @ Adventures of a Millennium Mom said...

Mmmm...I love French Onion Soup! I'll have to try this one!

Anonymous said...

Actually never tasted this. sheltered life so far.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angie! Up here in Canada the crock is always rockin' and rollin' with something good. I've never made french onion soup with both chicken and beef broth but now I'll try it. Thanks for solving the supper dilemma at our house tonight.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna, that would be delish. I've got some cranberry walnut bread, so I'm gonna go with that. Mmm, the sweet, crunchy with the salty, savory -- Hot diggity dawg!

Glad ya dropped in, Mandy. I'd love your version of French onion soup, or anyone's. I'm all about the experimenting with food.

Oren -- try it! Did ya see the DUTCH OVEN part of the recipe? :)

colbymarshall said...

You just made my day!!!!

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't eat onion soup--but my husband would love it! You turned your HEAT on?? I sat around all day in sweatpants, sweatshirt and a cold nose and refused to crank it up!! BRrrr more to come tonight!

ORION said...

I adore soup but the heat in the tropics really don't put you in the mood - okay so when the temp dips into the mid seventies I make soup...

Patresa Hartman said...

well, it sounds totally delish. but it looks awfully fancy. i don't know if i can handle all those steps, ms. angie.

Angie Ledbetter said...

You're welcome Val. Hope your batch comes out just right.

Glad to help, Colby. :)

Terri, yep, I caved and turned the heat on low to cut the chill this morning. After that, it wasn't needed. You should try the soup!

Orion...maybe you could serve it chilled? LOL

Aw, Patresa, it's not hard. Most of the recipe is scrapin' and stirrin'.

Afronuts said...

Whew! You know I thot i was bonkers advocating for soup or stew made from onions but after seeing this post, Im glad onion soup is posssible...lol

Anonymous said...

This is my husband's favorite soup. I'm going to have to try and make your recipe and see if I can gain some points! The picture looks awesome.

Cooking and the City said...

French onion soup is delicious! its one of the first things I made, definately the first soup I made :-)

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