Saturday, September 10, 2011

Free Recipe Friday.....On Saturday???

So sorry for the delay everyone....all twelve of you that read this blog.
I had started off with it just being an apology
for not having a FRF...on Friday....but as my words grew,
I realized, I might as well make it into the full deal - just released a day later :/

We did actually make French Onion Soup last night...
at the end of an emotional, roller coaster week... 
just not enough free time to upload pics and write.
If you have only even seen one newscast this week
you will know of the craziness of which I speak.
We've almost had too many wildfires to count or keep track of. 
Wondering if wildfires can really spread that fast,
realizing they can AND do.
Wondering if our neighborhood will be the next to be evacuated
as you watch those around you that have been.
Wondering what we would grab if we were given one hour to leave
and realizing out of everything we have,
all we really care about could fit in the trunk of our car!
We've been totally blown away by the many firemen, volunteers
and everyday citizens, who have risked and are STILL
risking their lives for so many...and wondering when it will rain...
as we rest in Psalm 91...
...He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust...
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings
you shall take refuge... 


"I’m firmly of the belief that no matter what ails you
in the realm of the kitchen, onion soup can cure it.
Never cooked before?
Don’t think you’ll be able to pull off the kind of cooking you believe you need
to go to a restaurant to experience? Start with onion soup.
Have only $5 to spend on dinner?
Refrigerator is almost bare? Onion soup is your friend.
Want your home to have a transcendent aroma bouncing off every wall,
the kind that’s so distracting that you don’t even know or care
what’s on the stove, only that you must have it now?
Onion soup is waiting for you."
- taken from The Smitten Kitchen

What a perfect way to describe French Onion Soup
and the ease of cooking it. 
SUCH a cheap meal as well, yet so so elegant. 
I beg you not to skimp on the very long caramelization process that is KEY -
and it's the hardest part of the whole deal....
just waiting and not rushing the onions.

There are many recipes out there and all are quite similar...please try one!
All you need are onions, garlic, and some beef stock.
Some call for a little white wine or lemon juice to finish it off,
salt and pepper, and maybe some thyme and/or bay leaf...
then top it off with some crusty croutons
or crunchy bread smothered in cheese. 
I have had this particular recipe since the late 80's...
and children, that would be the 1980's! 
Although our kids never really cared for the onions in this soup
when they were younger,
they knew they had to eat what was on the table or go to bed hungry...
so they would usually slurp up the beef broth
and then fill up on the cheesy, crusty bread! 
Now that we are mostly all grown-ups around here, 
everyone gobbles the soup, onions and all. 


3 onions - peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2-3 Tablespoons oil
(vegetable oil or olive oil)
2-3 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
beef stock - appx. 6 cups or more
(homemade, canned (low sodium) or paste in a jar,
but please, no boullion cubes!)
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
appx. 3 teaspoons salt (will depend on your broth)
ground black pepper to taste
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat together oil and butter in a large,
heavy-bottomed dutch oven or stockpot.
Add onions; stir to coat well.
Reduce heat to medium-low. 
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally,
until onions are very limp and just beginning to color
(about 20 minutes).  Do not rush this.
Stir in chopped garlic. 
Increase heat to medium.
Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently
until onions are amber or caramel colored.
About 30 minutes.
Stir more frequently toward end of cooking time
to prevent sticking. 
Sprinkle onions with the flour.
Stir to thoroughly combine flour with onions.
Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes,
stirring mixture frequently.
Stir in 1 cup of the broth, scraping up browned bits
from the bottom.  Bring to gentle boil;
Cook 1 minute.  Stir in bay leaves, thyme,
remaining broth and salt, if using.
Simmer partially covered, 20-30 minutes.
Before serving, remove bay leaves and add lemon juice.

In the meantime...HOW TO MAKE THE CROUTONS
1 loaf french bread - sliced diagonally, 3/4 inch thick
chopped garlic
enough cheese to cover your slices of bread
(this recipe calls for Gruyere cheese - we used Mozzarella)
Parmesan cheese

Place bread slices on a cookie sheet.
(Trim if needed, so slices will fit into soup bowls.)
Place in 350 degree oven until golden brown and crispy
(about 15 minutes).  The bread needs a good crunch
to it so it won't get soggy in your soup bowl.
Remove from oven and increase oven temp to 375.
Dab each of the croutons (bread slices) with crushed garlic.
Place cheese on each slice to cover and sprinkle each
with about 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese.
Return to 375 oven and bake until
cheese is melted and golden brown. 

Ladle the soup into soup crocks or bowls.
With a spatula, transfer one 'crouton' to each bowl of onion soup.
Serve immediately! Mmm.


  1. sounds yummy.

    "Wondering what we would grab if we were given one hour to leave
    and realizing out of everything we have,
    all we really care about could fit in the trunk of our car!" Wow, kinda shows how senseless the majority of our "stuff" is, doesn't it?

    Gives me something to ponder, didn't expect that on a FRF post, thanks ;)