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Monday, February 2, 2009

French Onion Soup: Recipe

Honestly, what could be better than a rich sweet soup topped with a thick portion of cheese and then heated in the oven? Right; very few things. I don't think the soup has a great deal of calories since it's mostly onions and beef broth - which, if using the not-fat, low-sodium variety you cut your caloric intake by dramatic proportions.

I love FOS. When I was little, I remember my father loving it, too. In fact, I remember a time when he ordered it in a restaurant and when he finished eating all the cheese off the top, he sent it back to the kitchen for more cheese! I can't tell you where or when that happened but I have that memory burned on my brain. Each time I eat the cheese off the little crock in a restaurant, I think to myself (for just one moment)..."hmmm, I wonder if I could try that trick!"

In my mind, and on my tongue, this soup gets better each time it's made. The recipe is a take-off from something I once saw while watching the Food Network on a JetBlue flight. I didn't have my earphones on as they began making the dish so I had to recreate what the chef said - but I know that this rendition rivals any French Onion soup I've ever had!

French Onion Soup
This soup makes about 8 cups so the cheese and the bread amounts will vary depending on how many people you're serving

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
5 Tbsp. butter
1 large vidalia onion, sliced very thin
1 large red onion, sliced very thin
4 14.5 oz cans beef broth
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup Port
3/4 cup Burgundy
Crusty bread
1/2 Lb. Gruyere
1/2 Lb. Swiss
chopped parsley for garnish

In a large pot, melt the butter and oil together over medium-high heat until the butter foams. Add the onions and saute over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and the flour together and stir well, sauteing another 5 minutes. Add in the broth and water and set to simmer for about 30 minutes. Next add in the wines and simmer for about 2 hours. A skin will form over the top - be sure to stir the soup a few times during the 2 1/2 hour cooking time to avoid the skin from forming.

Preheat oven to Broil.

Slice the bread into 1 1/2" thick slices and place one slice into the bottom of each oven-bakable crock. Next, ladle the soup to about 2" from the top. Layer one slice of each cheese over the top of the crock and broil until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with parsley garnish and serve.

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