Photos on Fine Fettle Kettle are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are the creation of Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, January 2, 2009

French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a wonderful accompaniment to many meals, and occasionally I like to eat it as a meal.

Sometimes we forget that onions are a vegetable, maybe because in order to get a significant amount of nutritional value we have to eat an entire onion, and most recipes don't use an onion per serving. Onions contain Vitamins A & C, Calcium, Protein, Iron, Phosphorus and Dietary Fiber. They are an especially good source for potassium. They are low in calories and high in flavor.

My French onion soup makes 6 helpings and calls for six onions. That counts as a vegetable serving, so eat and feel healthy!

Peel and slice six medium onions. I show four here because I used gigantic Walla-Walla onions which are more than one serving. Peel and dice 3 gloves of garlic.

Cook's hint: to peel garlic easily, smash the garlic first with a mallot or the side of your chopping knife. The peel will fall right off.

Add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 bay leafs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the onions for at least 25 minutes until carmelized.

Add 1 cup of red wine. (I used Chianti this time). Cook until nearly all the liquid is evaporated.

Add 3 heaping Tbsps of flour to the onions. Cook and stir for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste

Add 2 quarts of beef broth to the onions while stirring. Bring soup to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

Pour soup into large ramekins or soup bowls. Slice baguette bread and place slices on top of soup.

Place a slice of swiss or gruyere cheese over the bowl. Melt with kitchen torch or place under broiler until melted.

Eat your vegetables!


Jeremymlad said...

This looks divine! Is the wine vital? I shouldn't have cheese but the pictures make me want to throw that idea to the wind.

Miriam Latour said...

The wine is only vital if you want the soup to be delicious. ;)

French Onion soup always gets it's distinct flavor from red wine. That is what makes it taste so... French. It adds just a touch of sweetness and a lot of fullness and warmth to the soup.

But I suppose you could try it without. There is no good substitute for wine in cooking. Fruit juices are too sweet and vinegar is too sour. So maybe you could just add another cup of beef broth.

Dave has a bunch of bottles of Elderberry wine aging in our "wine cellar". He is more than willing to give them away to friends. If you don't want to buy wine just to cook with, feel free to take home a bottle.

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