Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dreams Come True

I had a dream on Monday night that we had onion soup for dinner. I had bought a beautiful bag of yellow onions at Costco this weekend, and had most of the other ingredients on hand, so I decided that's what we would eat on Tuesday for dinner.

This is a simple, but time-consuming recipe. Instead of cooking the onions on the stovetop, most of the cooking is done in the oven. I cheated a little and shortened the oven cooking time, but the final soup was still quite flavorful.

I served this with some roasted delicata squash, simply dressed with butter, salt and pepper. The sweet, creamy squash was a lovely foil to the salty, cheesy soup. Altogether satisfying.

French Onion Soup

6 large yellow onions, halved, peeled, and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
5 springs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 baguette
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sliced onions in a heavy soup pot; top with the butter and the salt. While the onions are cooking, make toasts. Slice the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. Paint each slice with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until the toasts are just beginning to brown on one side; turn, and bake again until the other side is lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and reserve. After the onions have been cooking for 1 hour, remove them from the oven and stir; the onions will have wilted and given off much of their moisture. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on the stovetop over a medium flame. Cook and stir the onions until all of the moisture has evaporated and the onions begin to darken and caramelize. Add the wine. Cook and stir until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the thyme and the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls. Top with toasts and shredded Gruyere cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

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