Thursday, August 19, 2010

French Onion Soup

This has to be the easiest soup I've ever made. And I thought split pea soup was pretty mindless. To get rid of some pantry items, I subbed in onion soup mix for one of the onions (and bought low-salt beef broth to compensate), and used matzah balls instead of croutons. I don't like cheese on my onion soup, but I'll include the Bible's version of the gratineé.

One thing I've noticed when making recipes 30 years old, or even older, is how ingredient sizes have changed. Many times, the package or can sizes referred to in a recipe simply do not exist anymore. Especially since packages have gotten smaller in the past couple of years so manufacturers don't have to raise prices. I buy the closest size I can find and adjust if I have to. Produce has also changed. What was once called a "large" onion is now a medium one. But I really like onions and bought big ones for the soup. Professional recipes use weights for their ingredients, and I'm starting to see the benefit. Years from now, a weighted recipe will still be valid, long after food engineering has messed with the size of a piece of produce.

1/4 C butter or margarine
3 large onions, sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 Tb flour
2-1/2 C water
1/2 C red wine
2 10-oz cans condensed beef broth
1 loaf French bread
Swiss cheese slices

1. In 4 qt saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter and sugar for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices.

3. Add water, wine, and undiluted beef broth. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Cut four 1" thick slices of bread from loaf. Toast the bread slices in 325º oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

5. Portion soup into oven-safe bowls. Place one slice of bread on surface of each bowl. Top bread with Swiss cheese.

6. Place bowls in a baking pan for easier handling. Bake in 425º oven until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes.

Difficulty rating  π

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