Wednesday, November 2, 2011

French Onion Soup on a Snowy Day



The weather in Colorado is unpredictable and ever changing.

I had taken a picture of these flowers just the other day, and now they're blanketed in snow.  The leaves just started to turn and we've already had our second major snow storm, and yet three days ago, we were running the AC when it got so warm that our thermostat indicated it was over 80 degrees inside.





Tonight's dinner is going to be leftover lasagna - I made a big pan last month, that I have yet to post the recipe for, and froze half of it.  And yet, as nice as it will be to have an evening off cooking dinner, I find myself thinking about soup.  Warm, soothing and perfect on cold nights.






I've been checking in on Jennie at In Jennie's Kitchen, since her husband passed away in August.  Some days as I read her posts, I find tears rolling down my cheeks.  And then I have to go find Jamie and give him a hug.  I'm so thankful he's with me.  In one of Jennie's recent posts, she shared a recipe for French Onion Soup.  Her words touched me.  "I try to approach each day with a set of fresh eyes. Finding joy and pleasure in simple things, like browning onions in butter to make this soup."

And so I made the soup.  With a few changes.  Her secret ingredient is pretty ingenious, so I didn't change that.  This is the first french onion soup I've made, and it was delicious.






French Onion Soup



·         2 tablespoons butter

·         2 tablespoons olive oil

·         4 large sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced

·         Salt and pepper

·         1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

·         1 cup white wine

·         1 ½ cups beef stock

·         2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

·         ½ tablespoon molasses

·         1 teaspoon minced garlic

·         ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

·         4 slices (1-inch thick) French bread

·         4 thick slices of cheese, such as Smoked Gouda, Provolone, Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella, etc…



Heat the butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, and season with salt, pepper and tarragon.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden, about 15 minutes.  Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook the onions, covered, for 20 minutes.



Add the white wine to deglaze the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.  Add the beef broth, balsamic vinegar, molasses, garlic and nutmeg.  Turn the heat up to medium high and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce to medium low and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.



Turn the broiler in your oven on low.  Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast them for several minutes on each side.



Set 4 oven-safe bowls on the baking sheet and ladle the soup into the bowls.  Lay the toasted bread on top of the soup.  Top the bread with the sliced cheese.  Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.



Yields 4 servings.