Saturday, January 1, 2011

French Onion Soup!

When I was young I never thought I would like this soup.  Finally at lunch one day my mother convinced me to have a bowl at this little French country cooking bistro called, Bon Femme in Merrillville, Indiana.  I was hesitant taking my first bite but the waitress couldn't believe it when I had 3 bowls after that.  You'd think I was fat right, but I'm not.  Well anyways about ten years later I started working in the kitchen at that same restaurant.  They had interesting salads, soups, quiche, crepes and desserts which changed daily.  After I felt comfortable I asked the owner to teach me how he made the onion soup.  This is it.  I still think it's the best French onion soup I've ever had.
4 onions, Frenched
1/4 bottle red wine
2 quarts beef stock
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 oz Parmesan rind
salt and pepper to taste
2 T butter
French the onions and place them in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of butter, stir and cook until soft, do not allow to burn or caramelize.  Add red wine to cover onions about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.  Allow to cook for about twenty to thirty minutes, until onions are translucent and red wine reduces, add a touch of salt here to bring out the liquids in the onions so that it cooks down with the wine and butter.  Add the beef stock, bay, thyme, Parmesan rind (umami), and pepper to taste.  Cook on low for two to three hours.  When done onions should melt in your mouth, check here for salt.  Add if needed.  It'll depend on your stock and how the flavors develop when reduced.  I finish mine with a nice crusty bread that I've left out over night and gruyere or provolone cheese.

Very thin onions, Frenched
Add red wine.

Beef stock.

Parmesan rind.
Thyme, bay.


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