With Renee off living the good life in Paris for the month, the rest of the family is home braving the New York winter. My cooking while she has been gone has taken a much more kid friendly flavor, though I do try to slip in some more adult foods now and then. With the snow falling today, I figured it was a perfect day for a taste of France to warm us and at least be with Renee in spirit. On a cold snowy day like it is here in New York today nothing warms better then a hot bowl of soup and no soup says France to me more than a steaming crock of French Onion Soup.
5 Medium Onions sliced thin
½ stick of unsalted butter
1 clove of garlic chopped fine
3 tbsp dry white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups beef stock
Salt and pepper
4 – 1/2inch thick slices French baguette
1 cup grated Gruyere Cheese (or Swiss)
In a stock pot, melt the butter over low heat, then add the sliced onions and garlic and sauté till nicely browned (about 35-45 min). Don’t rush this step; keeping the heat low will let the onions caramelize slowly and evenly without getting crispy.
Add the wine, and using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pot for any bits and pieces that have stuck.
Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
After about a minute, add the stock. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Its best to leave it a bit under salted as the soup will reduce while it is cooking and the final flavor can be adjusted before serving.
Let the soup simmer for about an hour.
While the soup is simmering toast the baguettes slices.
When the soup is ready remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
Ladle the soup into 4 oven safe bowls giving each a good helping of the onions at the bottom of the bowl.
Pre-heat the broiler in your oven. (If you don’t have an in-oven broiler, you could use a blow torch to melt the cheese.)
Place the bowls on a baking tray, and float a slice of the toasted bread in each bowl, then cover with the grated cheese.
Place the whole tray under the broiler till the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Carefully remove the hot bowls from the oven, serve and enjoy a small taste of Paris!