French Onion Soup

  • French, Onion soup, Gruyere

French Onion Soup is so hearty and delicious, it is hard to believe it is made of such simple ingredients. Onions, a good quality beef stock, a little wine, and gruyere cheese and you get a special treat.

French onion soup has always been one of my favorite soups, but I find that it can often be very salty. To avoid this, use a stock that is unsalted or at the very least low-sodium.  This way you have control over the amount of salt to use.

The soup is easy to make, but it does take time to caramelize the onions.  Don’t be in a hurry, the reward for your patience is a delight to your taste buds.

Ingredients:
3 lbs – onion
1 tbls – olive oil
2 tbls – butter
4 cups – beef stock unsalted
2 cups – chicken stock low sodium
2 – bay leaves
2 tbls. – flour
1/2 tsp. – sugar
1 tsp – salt
1 cup – red wine
1/2 tsp – black pepper
French baguette
12 oz. – Gruyere cheese

Directions:
Slice the onions in a food processor. In a large, heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When the onions are all sliced, add them to the pot along with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the onions, and cook about 2 minutes.

Once onions start to soften place the lid on the pot, and cook on a medium-low flame for about 20 minutes until the onions become soft. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the onions from burning.

Next add the sugar to help the caramelization of the onions. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the onions become golden brown. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Stir often.

In the meantime, combine and beef and chicken stock in  a small pot and heat on the stove until ready to use.

Sprinkle the flour over the caramelized onions and stir.

Cook about 3 minutes. Next, deglaze the pot by adding the red wine. Stir, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom. Cook about 1 minute to burn off the alcohol, then add the hot beef and chicken stock mixture. I prefer to use both beef and chicken stock for a more complex flavor.

Add bay leaves and black pepper and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes. The soup will thicken a little with the help of the flour. When the soup is done, taste and add salt if needed.

Turn on the broiler of the oven. Slice the french bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Drizzle a little olive oil and toast.

Ladle the onion soup into oven proof crock soup bowls and add the toasted french bread.

Top off with grated gruyere cheese.

Place the crocks on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler. Do not walk away, this does not take long. Cook until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown on the edges.

Carefully remove the entire cookie sheet from the oven. Wait a couple minutes for the soup crocks to cool a little. Handle using oven mits, and place the crocks on a plate to serve.

Enjoy!

 

French Onion Soup, Gruyere Cheese




Frisée Lardon Salad

Frisée Salad, Bacon, Egg

Frisée Lardon Salad

Serves: 4

Frisée Lardon salad is a popular item in French Bistros and one of my favorite salads. This is a recipe from Petit Trois, Los Angeles, California that I found on the website “Bon Appétit”. It is easy to make, and delicious. If you are a fan of this salad, you will agree that it is the real deal.

Ingredients:
2 – tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 – oz. slab bacon
1/3 – cup diced shallot
1/2 – cup red wine vinegar
4 – eggs
1 – tbls. distilled white vinegar
2 – large heads of frisée salad
Salt
White ground pepper

Directions:
Put a small pot of water on the stove to boil and add the white vinegar. In the meantime, wash the salad, cut to desired sized pieced, and let dry off.

Slice the bacon into 1/2″ strips.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook it on high until it is crisp on the outside, but be careful not to burn it or to let it dry out. When the bacon is almost done, turn down the heat to medium and add the diced shallot.

Sauté about 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn the heat off when ready.

Now it is time to poach the eggs. I use a little trick to poach the eggs. Place a 3″ high stainless round mold into the boiling water. It should stick out above the water. Carefully add one egg into the mold, being careful not to break the yolk.

Use a slotted spoon to gather the egg white to help to form the poached egg. Let cook about 2 minutes and carefully remove the egg with the slotted spoon and place it on a plate and set aside. Continue and cook the other 3 eggs in the same manner

When the last egg is being poached return the bacon and shallots to the heat. When the temperature of the mixture starts to come up, deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar. Add a little salt and white pepper to taste. Reduce the heat and cook about three minutes to reduce the vinegar by half. Turn off the flame and add the frisée and stir to coat all the leaves with the bacon and vinegar dressing.

Remove promptly to serving plates. Top each with a poached egg and serve immediately.

Enjoy!