… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? When the weather tuns cold it makes me think about great soups, but it doesn’t have to be chilly outside to enjoy this French classic.
French onion soup (French: soupe à l’oignon) may be served as a meal or as a first course and is usually based on beef or veal stock and onions—lots of onions. It is most often served gratinéed with a French bread crouton covered with cheese floating on top. After becoming a little obscure in culinary circles, this soup underwent a resurgence of popularity in the 1960s in the United States because of the renewed interest in French cuisine.
The Romans enjoyed a good onion soup. Throughout history, onion soup was food for the less fortunate as onions were cheap, plentiful, and easy to grow. The modern version of this soup originated in Paris in 18th century, made from beef broth, and a variety of caramelized onions. As it is told, it was introduced in the United States by the New York restaurant of Henri Mouquin in 1861, where his wife Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin was the chef. The crouton with the melted cheese on top is reminiscent of ancient soups served in Greece and Italy.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 large servings
For the soup
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
4 cups fresh white onions, julienne cut
1/2 cup fresh red onions, julienne cut
1/2 cup fresh green onions, circles
1/2 cup fresh shallots, julienned cut
1/2 tablespoon sherry wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (I prefer Lea & Perrin)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fine grind black pepper
2-1/2 tablespoons beef base (I prefer Better Than Bouillon bases)
5-1/2 cups hot water
For the bowl garnish per portion
1 slice Gruyère crouton (see ChefSecret)
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon grated Monterey jack cheese
To make the soup
ChefSecret: To make the crouton, start with a thick piece of lightly toasted French bread. Set it on the bowl of hot soup like a raft, top with the cheese and melt the cheese under a broiler or with a kitchen torch. This is soup is even better the second day.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “There are so many Coronavirus jokes out there, it’s a like a major pundemic.”
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