Sunday, December 29, 2013

French Onion Soup by Jerri Manthey, CDKitchen Staff

I absolutely love french onion soup. My favorite in town is at the Capital Grill in Downtown Minneapolis. However, it is beef based which I am always willing to forget when I have the craving…. Their shoestring fries are also amazing especially when you dip them in their crazy delicious bĂ©arnaise sauce. The soup and fries there make the most amazing little lunch; it's a very sodium enriched one too, but who cares. It's important to splurge here in there to get the most out of life. "Every thing in moderation even moderation" as I like to say….
For some reason, I always imagined that french onion soup would be difficult to make. In all reality, not a whole lot of recipes are "hard" to make if you even know a little about general cooking techniques. I guess I just did not imagine that a veggie based french onion soup would be even good since the beef based version is the benchmark. 
My husband's mom made this particular recipe first and when she told me that she was making french onion soup for us, I have to admit that I was very skeptical. After one bite, I was hooked and could not wait to make it again. It comes from CDKitchen and here is the link.
So, if you are in the mood for this mind altering dish, this is the simple recipe to use.
Cheers to onions and cheese!!! (BTW, If I had larger slices of cheese to cover the entire bowl, that is what I would have used so that you get those crispy bits, mentioned below, to bake on the rim of the bowl. Also, don't worry if you do not have oven-ready bowls. I just used what I had and since you are broiling for such a short amount of time, it's really no big whoop.
What you Need:
3 ounces butter
1 pound large white onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quart vegetable stock (see note)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
garlic powder (also add some with the broth, about two shakes or so)
6 slices crusty French bread (or use twice as many smaller slices)
grated fresh Parmesan cheese
slices aged Swiss cheese (as needed to cover)
Melt butter in a large saucepan/pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 20 minutes until they become soft and golden. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 2 minutes. 
Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Toast one side of the bread slices under the broiler, flip over, drizzle olive oil, shake garlic powder lightly, sprinkle parmesan cheese on them and broil again until cheese is melted.

Divide the slices among individual small flameproof soup bowls. If the bread is small, you can place one and half or two pieces on the bottom. Pour the soup into the bowls, sprinkle more parmesan on top and lay slices of Swiss cheese to cover the entire opening of the bowl.

It's better if you let the cheese hang slightly over the edge so that it melts to the bowl and makes crusty cheese pieces to pick off (my personal favorite).

Serve immediately.

Note from recipe: SPECIAL NOTE FOR VEGETABLE STOCK: The best way to make this stock is with "Better Than Boullion" brand vegetable base. It has a ton of flavor and is the only one I ever use.
I actually like Knorr's vegetable broth bouillon cubes way better than "Better than Boullion". Just saying'.

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