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Sunday, September 28, 2008

French Onion Soup

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE French onion soup! Did I mention that I love it, and when I found this recipe for a freezer version I fell in love with it! What better way to enjoy the soup season that with a recipe like this you can freeze in individual sizes and warm up whenever you like.

  • 10 medium yellow onions (about 4 1/2 pounds) , halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
**Note: To cut onion slices, halve through the root end; peel back skin. Place halves, cut sides down, on cutting board. Trim both ends; thinly slice onion lengthwise. To slice onions quickly, use a food processor fitted with a slicing blade (instead of a knife).

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
  • 4 slices toasted multigrain bread
  • 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss together onions, oil, sugar, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover tightly with foil; cook until steamed, about 30 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring every 30 minutes, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to a large saucepan (reserve roasting pan); stir in broth and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until liquid has darkened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, deglaze the roasting pan with wine: Place the pan over medium heat; add wine. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon or scraper to loosen any browned bits. Simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour liquid (and browned bits) into soup. Season with salt and pepper. (If freezing, let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers, leaving 1 inch at top.)
  4. If desired, make the cheese toast: Heat broiler. Place bread on a baking sheet; top with Swiss cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut each slice into four triangles.
  5. To serve, divide soup among bowls; garnish each with two triangles of cheese toast, if desired. Or go for the traditional toast crouton and parmesean/asiago cheese to top it off.

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