California Central Coast Recipes
Onion Soup - Country Style with Cheese and Bread
Onion soup is a classic country recipe favorite. It's a great choice when you're on a strict budget. Onion soups have been popular with poor people as far back as Roman times, because onions were always easy and plentiful to grow. And the ingredients of the soup were almost always at hand: beef or chicken broth, onions, cheese and dry bread.
Onion soup got re-popularized in the 1960's by Julia Child with her cookbooks and television shows. It was one of her favorite soups.
This recipe is a recipe my mother-in-law taught me, and then I gave it my personal touch. This recipe has got to be one of the best-tasting onion soups we've ever tasted!
First a large quantity of thinly sliced onions are cooked down into a caramelized mixture of thinly sliced onions. Then broth is added to give the soup its liquid and it's slowly simmered for a couple of hours.
To serve, you place a slice of toasted French bread in the bottom of each soup bowl, and top each slice of bread with a slice of Gruyere Cheese. Then you ladle in the hot thick onion soup on top of the bread and cheese. Then sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and a little paprika for accent and place in the oven until bubbly and lightly browned.
Oh My God! Is this ever good! It's so very elegant, inexpensive to make and wonderfully filling! You never have to be embarrassed to serve this soup! This is an easy straight-forward recipe that's a perfect choice if you have the time required to cook-down the onions, and the time it takes for the soup to simmer.(Or make the soup a day in advance! It only gets better!) Also, if you use a Food Processor to slice the onions (2mm,) the prep process is much easier.
You can serve this soup in small bowls as an appetizer, or larger bowls as an entree. Because I use a combination of both chicken and beef broth, it's very filling. You won't miss "the meat!" Just serve it with a nice salad and a glass of red wine! The recipe below is for the entree-sized soup bowls.
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 2 hours
6 to 8 Extra-large onions , thinly sliced
5 to 6 Medium Cloves garlic , chopped
3 ounces unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 Cup flour
1 Large Can (49 ounces) Swanson Chicken broth , reduced sodium
1 Package (32 ounces) Swanson Beef broth , reduced sodium
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
8 to 12 Slices Gruyere Cheese
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese , grated
6 Oven-proof soup bowls
1 In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil. and warm-up.
2 Add in the sliced onions, separating the onion segments, giving the onions plenty of volume. As the onions start to cook down, be sure to bring up the oil-butter from the bottom of the pot and keep folding over the onions. You may need to add additional olive oil if the mixture starts to burn.
3 Simmer onions until lightly golden. Add in the garlic and mix throughly throughout the onion mixture.
4 When the garlic is fragrant, add in the salt and pepper then stir a couple of times more then sprinkle in the flour. Blend the flour into the onion-garlic mixture and cook for two to three minutes stirring constantly.
5 Add in the Chicken broth and stir well. Then add in the Beef broth and stir well to combine.
6 Add in the Thyme and Poultry Seasoning. Stir well to distribute throughout the soup.
7 Partially cover with lid and let simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Correct seasonings.
8 Just before dinner, cut a loaf of French bread into half-inch slices. Toast lightly on both sides under the broiler.
9 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
10 Place each slice of bread in bottom of soup bowls. Top each slice of bread with the Gruyere cheese.
11 Ladle in the hot onion soup over the bread in each bowl. Fill up each bowl to almost the top of bowl.
12 Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on tops of soup. Accent with a dash of paprika for presentation.
13 Bake in oven at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes -or until bubbly.
14 Serve and get ready for Bliss!
This soup is such a show-stopper! Serve with a nice salad and a glass of red wine such as a Sangiovese or Zinfandel.