Bob and Don make a FINE onion soup.
They use a Martha Stewart recipe, and offered it up to us as the first course for a very nice Christmas dinner a few years ago; which put me in mind of making a big ole batch for our holiday ‘do this year. Of course, I had a couple of concerns to deal with. The melted cheese issue, I easily resolved, but what to do about the flour sprinkled over the onions?
Corn starch! Perfect – and gluten-free!
•8 cups unsalted beef stock
•1 sweet onion, sliced (and skins)
•1 yellow onion, sliced (and skins)
•6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
•6 celery tops, with leaves, roughly chopped
•1 good handful parsley, with stems
•2 bay leaves
•Pinch Sichuan peppercorns
•1 tsp freeze-dried shallots
•1/2 tsp thyme
•1/2 cup sweet vermouth
•3/4 cup dry vermouth
•4 tbsp unsalted butter
•8 cups sweet onion and yellow onion, sliced
•1 shallot, diced
•1 tsp sugar
•1-1/2 tsp corn starch
•1/2 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
•2 tbsp cognac
•8 cups beef stock
•3/4 tsp dried thyme
•1 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
First, make the stock by adding the veggies, seasonings, and vermouths to the beef stock in a large pot and simmering for thirty minutes.
Pour your now quite tasty stock through a sieve and discard the veggies. Note: I usually do all this they day before I plan on making a soup, then I chill the stock until needed.
Now, for the onion soup: melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the onion slices.
Sprinkle with the sugar and stir to coat evenly with the melted butter and the sugar.
Cook, stirring every now and then, for about an hour, until the onions are golden and quite tender.
Dissolve the corn starch in one tablespoon of water and pour over the onions, stirring to blend.
Add the sherry or wine, stock, cognac, and thyme, then bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with flatbread, corn tortillas, and cheese crisps. Or, you could go all traditional and ladle the soup into oven-safe crocks, top it with some nice Gruyère, and pop it into the oven to melt the cheese into a lovely crispity crust.
It’s all good.
As was this soup; it was pretty darned popular at our gathering, and most very welcome the next day in a big ole bowl for my lunch.
It is hard to have too big a bowl of home made onion soup and cheese crisps.