Tuesday, October 23, 2012

French onion soup

This past weekend, I was at home sick. On Saturday, I laid in bed for about 7 hours straight. I don't remember the last time I did that, but after about 6 hours and 45 minutes I was DONE. Done with being sick, done with lying around, done with watching Will and Grace re-runs.

When I was a kid, one of the things my mom would do for me when I was sick was bring me a tray with tea, soup, and homemade piping hot tea biscuits. It was the best, and it instantly made me feel better.

Saturday evening, I peeled myself out of bed and stared at the basket of fresh onions my dad had given to me from his garden. French onion soup was just what I needed. 

Cold and flu season has arrived folks. So here it is - french onion soup - one of my favourite remedies. Recipe is from the late, great Julia Child.

Step one: Melt a shitload of butter and a tbsp of oil in a large saucepan. (The recipe calls for 3 tbsp of butter but I didn't really measure. More butter is always better.)
Once the butter is melted, add about 5 cups of thinly sliced onions.
Cook the onions slowly (on low heat) for about 15 minutes. Then, uncover, and stir in 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp sugar. Keep cooking at medium heat.
This recipe requires a lot of patience. The onions need to caramelize, which means cooking them at low heat for a long time (about 30 to 40 minutes.)
Keep cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, until they turn a deep golden brown. 
Once the onions have caramelized, add 2 quarts beef stock, and 1/2 cup dry white wine. Simmer, partially covered for another 30 to 40 minutes.

By this time, you'll be really freakin hungry. But you're almost done! All you have to do now is ladle the soup into some oven-safe bowls, toast some rounds of french bread and put them on top, plus about a pound of swiss cheese on top of that. Pop it in the oven on broil until it's all bubbly and golden. 
Amazing on a chilly fall evening. And totally worth the wait. I promise.