Oct. 30th, 2013

commodorified: A cartoon of a worried looking woman in a chef's hat (cooking for people who don't)
It's cold and raw and windy and my allergies are still horrible, so I am making

Outaouais Onion Soup

(Not strictly canonically French Onion, but close and pretty damn' good.)

This can be easily doubled; I'm actually making twice what I'm giving directions for, so as to have soup for four and soup to freeze.

1800ml/2 quarts/2 boxes of beef broth. If you don't eat meat there are some fairly good 'beef flavour' broths you can use, or you can sub veggie broth, in which case it won't taste the same, but it will taste good.

4 large onions, sliced

1-2 T cooking oil.

1/8 C dried mushrooms, any vaguely European sort, powdered in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. If you lack either, chop them as finely as possible and you're good. This is pretty much what I do for mushroom broth these days, having given up on finding an affordable commercial version that isn't full of sugar and salt.

1/8 C or I head garlic, minced.

1 Tablespoon bouquet garni (which you can buy or make or fake: savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon, in that order, or as many of them as you have. As long as you wind up with about a tablespoon total, you're good.)

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

I don't generally salt this: even no-salt-added beef broth has a salty taste. Use your excellent judgement, carefully.

If you have 1/2 C red wine around, you can add it. I usually don't, so I usually don't.

Put the sliced onions and the oil in a frying pan or chef's pan and cook them at just under medium until they go clear, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile combine everything else in a large pot or slow-cooker and set it to medium (pot) or auto (slow-cooker). Add the onions when they're clear, bring it to a boil, turn it to simmer and leave it all to cook for 1-3 hours (pot) or put the lid on and walk away for 4-6 hours (slow-cooker).

Meanwhile slice 1/2 loaf of slightly stale bread (I like whole wheat, white's fine, sourdough's great, use whatever you have) into largeish cubes and put them into a 250F oven to dry out and toast very slightly. If you're using sandwich loaf, dry it out really well and then toast it golden-brown: sandwich loaf tends to sog easily.

Grate about a cup of cheese, too: whatever you have that's firm, not *too* sharp, and melts well. You can combine types. I can't really suggest a vegan alternative: if you want vegan you should probably google "vegan french onion soup" and do what they tell you.

When the soup is cooked turn the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bread on the soup and the cheese on the bread, and put it in the oven for roughly 30 minutes, keeping an eye on it. The cheese should be bubbly and a little brown.

Eat it on its own or with a salad.


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