I was all set to change the pictures over there on the right to warmer-weather food now that spring is supposedly in sight, but I decided to hold off while this Siberian cold snap is in full force. So, soup is on the menu once again. What can you do? Talk to the groundhog. At least it’s onion soup. I’ll take a few more days of winter if I can have onion soup all week. But then we seriously need to start warming things up around here. Please? Does anyone have any extra greenhouse gases stored up somewhere? Or a few bloated cows? Maybe we could talk. I’ll bring soup, you bring cookies.
Julia Child’s French Onion Soup
I used a local maple-smoked cheddar on top, but, I’ll be honest, I kinda missed the Gruyere.
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2½ lbs.)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
8 cups homemade beef stock, heated
¼ cup Cognac
1 cup dry white wine
8 ½-inch-thick slices of French bread, toasted
¾ lb. Gruyere, coarsely grated
Over medium heat, melt the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the onions, cover, and cook slowly until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, increase heat to medium-high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour and cook slowly, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then whisk in 2 cups of hot stock. Bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, Cognac, and wine. Cover loosely, and simmer very slowly 1½ hours, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Arrange toast on top of soup and sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Place bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted minimally from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook.
Local Food Sources:
Butter: Cabot, Cabot, VT
Cheese: Grafton Village, Grafton, VT
Beef bones for stock: Southboro Belties, Southboro, MA (via Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds, Concord, MA)
Wine: Truro Vineyards, Truro, MA
Bread: Nashoba Brook Bakery, Concord, MA (via Russo’s, Watertown, MA)