French onion soup is one of the most beloved recipes to be found – when properly made, it is redolent of the true sweetness only to be found in the slow caramelization of onion, the depth of flavor from homemade beef stock, the complexity brought only about by 2 different kinds of wine and alcohol, a gentle touch of fresh thyme and the savor of a baguette slice or two absorbing all the rich flavors.
Lastly, who can resist the stretchy, pully magnificence of proper gruyere cheese from France broiled in a noble tureen designed specifically for this sole purpose?
The usual drek (It’s a great Yiddish adjective, look it up here if you’re not easily offended) is all too often the norm – beef “soup” from concentrate that sets the teeth on edge from its insane saltiness, fake cheese, a distinct paucity of wine and brandy, and a stale chunk of bread haphazardly chucked into a bowl before the inevitable microwaving.
Enough, let’s get on with the only proper recipe for French onion soup I would ever choose to share – my own, based closely on a recipe from the unmatched Julia Child. She notes in her preface:
“The onions for an onion soup need a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock for them to develop the deep, rich flavor which characterizes a perfect brew. You should therefore count on 2 1/2 hours at least from start to finish. Though the preliminary cooking in butter requires some watching, the actual simmering can proceed almost unattended.”
Don’t deviate from my recipe or her advice. 🙂 I up the umami quotient with a parmesan rind in the broth (removed before serving) and I prefer vermouth to white wine for its extra herbal flavor. Except for these touches, this is all classic French onion soup, Citizens!
Enjoy this perfection and serve it to those you truly care about.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
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