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French Onion Soup

It’s most definitely soup weather up in the northwest. We even went to Sur La Table and bought some cute new bowls to eat the many bowls of soup we will be consuming over the next few months. When I left for Houston at the beginning of October is was cool and cloudy during the day, but ever since I have been home, the weather has ventured into cold and rainy. Time to make a warm and hearty bowl of French Onion soup.

I’ve been trying to build my confidence in the kitchen by relying less on recipes and instead creating my own, so that’s what I did to make this soup. Going in, Dustin was very particular about what our French onion soup needed to be like. It had to be cheesy. There had to be enough croutons. The onions had to be cooked to perfection. There needed to be the right amount of broth. It was a tall order, but Dustin proclaimed our joint creation was one of the best French onion soups he’d ever had.

To make the croutons, use 3 slices of brioche bread, quartered (half of a large baguette would work as well), mist with olive oil, and bake them in the oven for 6 minutes at 450° until the edges are crisp and brown. Set aside to cool and fully harden while the soup is being made.

To make the soup, slice 2 1/2 large yellow onions and add them to a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped thyme, and a minced clove of garlic, covered for 30 minutes to steam the onions. Next, add in approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar to the onions and cook them for about 45 minutes until they are caramelized. At this point, we decided to add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter to give the onions a little richness, but I think this could be omitted if you were trying to make this soup even leaner.

Once you are happy with the state of the onions, add 1/4 cup of sherry to deglaze the pot and cook for about 3 minutes. Next, add 1 1/4 cups of beef stock and 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer while you finish preparing the croutons.

Heat your broiler to low. Add thin slices of gruyere cheese to the tops of the cooled croutons. Then broil until the cheese is melted, watching carefully to not burn your croutons (slightly over a minute for us).

Pour the soup into bowls, add in a few slices of gruyere if you’d like your actual soup to be cheesy (a requirement of Dustin’s). It melts very nicely along the top. Add a couple of the croutons to the top with extras on the side. Serves 3 as a meal-sized portion on a chilly autumn evening.

It looks like that turtle is about to steal our soup!

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