Monday, April 4, 2011

Ultimate French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

Conundrum.  I have a slight conundrum with this post.

First of all, let’s stop and contemplate the fact that I used conundrum.  That I knew what it kind of, sort of, meant.  I have been reading aloud a reading and a literature test to my 8th grade students, and I am amazed at the lack of vocabulary they possess.   I am also listening to Mark Twain’s autobiography and in it, he quotes passages written by his daughter when she was as young as 8 or 9.  They sound more eloquent that most adults do now.  When you read civil war letters written by 18 and 19 year old soldiers, they are filled with a vast vocabulary.  My youngest daughter and I used to try to outdo each other with the words we could use.  In conversations, after using a particularly obscure word, we would look at each other for acknowledgement.   Is that what’s missing…a love for words?

Sorry, digression.  Back to my conundrum.  I’ve been posting a meatless recipe on Mondays.  This soup has beef stock in it.  Technically it’s meatless, but not vegetarian.  Since I’m not specifically going vegetarian, I’m still going to use it.  Conundrum solved.

French Onion Soup

Oh, and it was good.  I don’t usually use a cup of red wine in my French Onion Soup, but I will now and forever.   Found in Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time and you can also find it online Tyler’s Ultimate French Onion Soup.

Tyler’s Ultimate French Onion Soup

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, for about 25 minutes. Add the wine and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Sprinkle the flour on the onions and stir. With the heat on medium low cook the onions about 10 minutes to eliminate the raw flour flavor.  Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with a slice of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

**I’m not sure what happened, but my cheese sunk to the bottom, normally it floats.  Oh well, it was still good!

Serves 4 to 6

This will be my entry for Heart ‘n Soul Blog Hop

AND for My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory.


AND for Souper Sundays (Soup, Salad, or Sammie) hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.


katiez said...

Shakespeare had a vocabulary of over 15,000 words. Today most people get by on less than 1,000. I find that very sad - so much is lost without the words to express it properly. That's why I love reading novels early authors - Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cathar..... Mark Twain ;-)

Peter M said...

It's a cool and rainy day here and your French Onion Soup would hit the spot. Nice onee, Pam!

Joanne said...

More than lack of a love of words, I think it's lack of a love of reading. I never had to do vocabulary in school, and I like to think that I have some pretty good lexicographical I attribute it to reading.

Oh this soup looks so good! Those deep dark caramelized onions...swoon.

Judi said...

Good word.
My brother is a vegan so meat stocks are out for him. This can make eating out a bit tricky.
Sounds good!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your soup has a lovely dark color that I associate with good Onion Soup Pam. I've seen onion soup with red wine and white wine, but we always prefer the red.

I always panic a little when I have a vegetarian house guest. Thanks for the reminder that this is a good soup to serve them using vegetable broth for beef broth of course.

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't think it's a lack of love of words--I think it's a lack of focus. People back then valued education. Now everyone wants their own reality show or clothing line.

chellebelle said...

I listen to some older music, and of course, have read extensively my entire life, and so I have quite a vocabulary. However I believe it's how we are raised as well, because my two children had better vocabularies at 5 and 6 then some of the 20 years olds that I work with now.. true story.

June said...

Wow this looks good...uh not just good, GREAT! You're right, the red wine makes a huge difference.

Melynda said...

I have never made french onion soup, this would be delicious with Walla Walla onions. I love their sweet flavor, thanks.

Julie said...

Seems like my daughter care barely express herself most of the time...too much TV I suppose. I'm a sucker for a good French onion soup, and this sounds amazing :)

From the Kitchen said...

I think reading leads to vocabulary interest. I always read with a dictionary close at hand.

I'd love to dip a spoon into that bowl of luscious looking soup right now. It's a blustery and sunless day here. Just right for the dish.


Abby said...

French Onion is the best soup ever, haha how un-eloquent was that? Your recipe looks rich and delicious. PS. just the fact that you and your daughter have fun practicing the words, making it FUN, speaks volumes for how bright and well rounded she is

Big Dude said...

I really like this soup and am a fan of Tyler's food. It looks rich and delicious.

Kim said...

I'm so happy to see that you're bringing Tyler back! I've always heard that his french onion soup was in fact the ultimate. It looks delicious!

shabby girl said...

When my boys were small, I would come up with a word a week that they would have to use in a sentence at the end of the week. They still know the word ubiquitous to this day. Makes me happy.
Your soup looks wonderful!

Wearinbeads said...

You just have to love how the names of the posters show up in different blogs that you read, don't you? the soup - YUM.

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

I'm glad you resolved the conundrum and posted this recipe because it looks wonderful. I make a similar soup, but I do use vegetable stock instead of meat, and I use sherry instead of red wine. It's wonderful - my kids beg for it all the time. Thanks for sharing!

KarenP said...

That sounds wonderful - we love French Onion Soup!

Marjie said...

It doesn't matter where the cheese ends up, as long as it's there.

I abhor the lack of vocabulary everywhere, including in the newspapers. My children have excellent vocabularies, in no small part due to my enforcement of no TV except in small (2 hr per day) doses on Saturday and Sunday only, no dumb freakin' video games - including computer games. Result? Read or be bored.

once in a blue moon said...

my favorite soup... my husband hates it. i am going to solve my conundrum and leave him for soup... ok i may come back, but i will serve myself a heaping bowl elsewhere and happily :)

i think language was more florific becasue we lacked all the visual stimulus we are flooded with these days...

WineDineDivas said...

Your French onion soup indeed has a very lovely color from the red wine and looks delicious as well.
The conundrum of how a gourmet ancient onion soup recipe from early Greek and Roman times was able to survive without the benefit of today's "World Bloggers" technology.


Deb in Hawaii said...

That is quite the conundrum. ;-) But I think you made the correct choice--the soup looks delicious. few things are better than a good onion soup. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

Bella Rum said...

I ate more soup this winter than ever before. I don't know why. Maybe I needed the comfort or maybe it was because the winter was so cold, dreary and long. This looks wonderful.

5 Star Foodie said...

This french onion soup sure looks amazing! Perfect on a rainy day like today!

grace said...

conundrums, digressions, soup--this post has it all. :)

Chris said...

wut r u talkin bout? r language is phine! cu l8r. ;) :)

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

I've only made French Onion soup once and I am convinced that your recipe is TOPS! This is such a classic soup and I never tire of it. Saving this recipe, Pam! Thanks!