April ’11: French Onion Soup

Another good partner for the ox-bone consommé.

I reckon I probably chopped up 5lbs of onions here.  Look how much it reduced in the end.

Caramelized onions are a wonderful treat, and the flavour that a wonderfully caramelized onion has is absolutely unbeatable.  Caramelizing onions basically means cooking them slowly so that the sugars in the onion turn a deep brown, giving off a sweet, rich flavour.  Caramelizing onions is easier than it sounds.  Just put some oil or water in a pan over low heat, chop up the onions, throw them in, and cover them.  Stir them occasionally, and be sure to add more liquid if you need so they don’t burn.  After you do it a few times you’ll get the hang of the right ratio of liquid to onion.  They take about 30-45 minutes (it took me maybe an hour here for 5lbs of chopped onions).  They are great to do on the side while you are preparing something else.

After the onions have caramelized, add enough consommé to cover the onions and let it simmer until it’s done.  There you have a French Onion Soup that is luscious with its deep, sweet caramelized onion flavours.  I’m not a fan of cheese on top of my soup, but you can proceed with adding some old crusted bread (French, Focaccia, Italian or any baguette) and add some shaved French Gruyère style cheeses (eg  Comté and Beaufor) on top, put it in the oven and let broil for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

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