RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
“I don't need a Valentine… I need 8 million dollars and a fast metabolism.”
French Onion Soup doesn't automatically scream out “Valentine’s Day” to most people, and doesn't seem like time well spent on a romantic meal…. until you actually make French Onion Soup.
I had initially planned on doing this great couple’s meal of Filet Mignon cooked with coconut milk, garlic, and fresh ginger for today’s In The Kitchen with Scotty Valentine’s Day segment. And then I got to thinking…
You know, it takes some special love and attention in making this classical soup. You have to carefully caramelize the onions just so, hand grate and blend those special cheeses, slice and toast the bread all the while risking life and limb to broil the cheese topping onto the soup. This isn't “open a package of dry soup mix and add hot water”… this is Julia Child kind of cooking!
Well, Chef Scotty kind of cooking. Don’t forget to kiss the Chef.. and you’re welcome!
Ingredients: Makes about 4 hearty servings of soup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 pounds (I used two large vidalia onions and one large red onion), halved and sliced thin
1 quart and a half or 6 cups unsalted Beef Stock (Major props to you if it’s homemade!)
7 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large or 2 small Bay Leaf
6 ounces or 3/4 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon blanc, White Bordeaux, or Chardonnay)*
2 ounces Cognac (optional)
True french baguette or batard, sliced thick
whole fresh garlic cloves sliced in half length wise for rubbing
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Oven proof soup crocks
* If you prefer to not use wine, add two tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- In a heavy bottom pot of dutch oven, begin heating slowly on the stove top. Add the butter to the pot and begin to melt. Add the grapeseed oil to “fortify” the butter to help prevent burning.
- Once the butter has melted add a hand full or two of the sliced onion, and slowly begin to to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning and to allow even caramelization. Add a pinch of the Cook’s Line seasoning to flavor and to help draw out moisture from the onion. The idea is to draw out the natural sugars in the onion and to caramelize.. or brown. The flavor of french onion soup is all about caramelizing the onions properly. After the first batch os a nice light golden brown add another couple of handfuls and pinch of Cook’s Line. Repeat the process until all the onions are in the pot, have cooked to a nice golden color, and are fragrant. This should take a little over thirty minutes, so have some patience.
- Pour in the dry white wine to deglaze the pan and add a little acidity to the onion. Stir and cook and let the onions absorb. Next, add the beef stock, the thyme and bay leaf, and begin simmering away slowly. Be sure to cover the pot to prevent too much evaporation. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Arrange your sliced baguette on to a sheet pan, and place in the oven around 8 minutes to toast. Turn the slices over and toast an additional 6-7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take your sliced garlic clove and rub the garlic (cut side down) vigorously on the toasted baguette slices. This adds a nice light garlic flavor to your croutons.
- ten minutes before your soup is ready, add the cognac and stir in; continue cooking. Taste for any additional seasoning, and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- Crank up the broiler in your oven, and adjust the top track accordingly. You’ll need adequate room to fit your oven proof soup crocks for the gratin portion of this soup. In a bowl combine the two cheeses and toss together.
- Ladle in the soup (with plenty of onion) about 3/4 of the way into the crock. Top with a slice or two of your baguette, them found on a cheese lover’s portion of the grated cheese. Place onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan, and carefully place under the broiler to melt and brown. I like to add a few small handfuls of cheese onto the parchment paper to make “broiled crispy cheese” and add to my soup as a garnish. It’s worth it, I promise!
- Once the the cheese has melted and gratinée, remove from the oven. I like to let the soup rest and the cheese to firm up slightly before serving.. about 5 minutes.
- Serve with a nice big rounded soup spoon, a large napkin to tuck into your shirt, and get ready to receive a big sweet oniony kiss for making the best French Onion Soup ever!