I’ve been poring over the recent French Onion Soup article in this month’s Cooks Illustrated. I apparently knew nothing about the topic. Their "Best" version calls for the onions to be baked for two and a half hours, and the pan to be deglazed three times. Even the “Quicker” version takes more than an hour an and half. Has anyone tried them? They really do look delicious.
But it made me think back to the onion soup I picked up about a year ago from the Grocery Guy. His is a hell of a lot simpler and relies on a quick ten-minute burst of high heat. It browns the onions and lends the dish a deep, rich flavor. I can’t really vouch for its merit compared to the Cooks Illustrated finely tuned masterpieces, but it works for me. It’s also apparently based on a Julia Child recipe. Some people like to be reminded that the tall one is watching over them in the kitchen, I just prefer the Grocery Guy calling me names. But that’s just me.
- 8 medium onions, mix of white and red if possible
- 1/4 cup Canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- Swiss cheese or Gruyère
- Salt and pepper
Peel the onions and slice very thinly.
Pour the oil and the butter in a large pot and turn the heat to medium.
Toss all the sliced onions in and cook until they have slowly reduced to 20 percent of their original size.
Increase the heat to high. While stirring every 30 seconds or so, cook until the onions begin to slightly brown.
Sprinkle the flour onto the onions. Continue to stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, until flour is incorporated.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Stir to dislodge any browned bits at the bottom of the pot and then add the beef stock.
Reduce the heat to medium, drop in the thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Shred the cheese atop the soup and serve up.