Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Onion Soup

I have been reading the awesome The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin. He mentions that one of the soups they used to make at his soup restaurant was onion soup. I recently had a glut of onions and some time so I improvised some. It's super easy and satisfying and cheap to make.

This makes a small batch in a 2 quart soup pot.

Onion Soup

2 tablespoons butter
6 onions, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup or so red wine
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon herbes de provence (or your favorite dried herbs)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 quarts water or stock

Heat butter in the bottom of a soup pot over medium heat. Add about 1/3 of the onions and season with salt. Add another 1/3, more salt and repeat with the last 1/3 of the onions.

Cook, stirring infrequently until the onions are well browned. I try to wait as long as possible before the first stirring. A dark fond will develop. Stirring the onions will redistribute the onions' moisture which will deglaze the pan.

When the onions have darkened to your liking, add the wine. Scrape up the bits of fond from the bottom of the pan with a wooden implement (I was going to say spoon but I clearly used a spatula of some kind). Then add the water or stock, pepper, herbes de provence and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for and hour or so. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.

If you like, you can line bowls with a slice of swiss or provolone cheese before ladling in the soup and top with a crouton of toasted crusty bread. I didn't, I just ate it. Yum!


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