Thursday, April 08, 2010
#64 French onion soup
Onion soup has got to be one of life’s miracles. I don’t know who invented it and to be honest I don’t really care. When I first cooked it (many years ago...) I was in shock! I couldn’t believe such taste existed... It was strong and mild, savoury and sweet, sophisticated and utterly simple, all at the same time. It was new but also so very familiar. Like one of those rare discoveries you make purely by accident and then become determined to keep for life. It is that special!
To serve 4
3 tbsp sunflower oil
750g onions, sliced in half moons
250g red onions, sliced in half moons
1 fat clove of garlic, very finely chopped
1 bay leaf
100 ml red wine
1 tbsp flour
1.4ml good beef stock
½ tsp dried thyme
1 baguette, sliced
50 g Gruyere cheese, grated
Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the sliced onions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Lower the heat and continue cooking for at least 2 hours, or until they have reduced in half and became almost caramelised and deep brown in colour (the longer the better, it depends on your cooker but I usually cook mine for 3h.)
Put the heat up and add the garlic and bay, stir for a few seconds.
When you can smell the garlic pour in the red wine. Cook for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
Stir in the flour and start adding the beef stock, taking care not to form any lumps.
Add the thyme and black pepper, check the salt and add more, if needed.
Cook on medium heat for another 20 minutes.
Serve the soup in oven-proof bowls. Put a slice or two of baguette on top and grate some cheese. Bake for 3 minutes under the grill.