Monday, December 20, 2010

French Onion Soup

Just what I'm doing making a rich, hearty soup on a day which, whilst pouring with rain, is also about 23degC and very humid, is anyone's guess. But the guess would have to include in it the notion that I'm making Confit of Duck for the 1st time, and I couldn't possibly let a litre of fragrant, sweet duck stock go to waste (or the freezer, which now resembles an old, forgotten mini black hole that someone made with the Large Hadron Collider and then quickly shoved into a cupboard to gather dust, and everything else within its event horizon, before anyone noticed.)

So soupe a l'oignon it is.

I'll admit, I made this up, it may be a mile or two from the authentic, but it tasted delicious, and there's none left. When the humidity reaches about 90%, my inclination to research tends towards zero.

I very gently sweated 3 medium sized onions for about 40 min, with a spoonful of soft brown sugar and some oil.
When they were very soft, I upped the heat, and deglazed the pan with some sherry, some brandy and some white wine. The smell was excellent! I also added some dark soy sauce for depth of colour and saltiness.

The stock was ready and heated, and when the alcohol was burnt off the onions, I added it, and seasoned to taste. Yum.

Meanwhile, I sliced a baguette, and drizzled some olive oil onto the slices which I then baked in a medium oven for 30 min to croutonize them. I made an aiolioilio (I'm sure that's how everyone in Italy, Spain, Portugal and southern France spells it) with wet garlic (just in season) salt (the seasoning, not the spy) and really good olive oil added slowly to form a thick emulsion.

I then slathered the croutons with the garlicky paste and covered them with grated gruyere.

The toasty things then went on top of the bowl of soup, and back under the grill for no more than 3 weeks.
oh joy. Even in midsummer.

Serve, remembering not to touch the bowls for fear of melty fingers.


  1. it was so bloody gorgeous! Even in a gazillion degrees humidity with the sweat dripping off my nose! Actually it surprisingly wasn't - the sweat - not the gorgeousness! It was funny that I had a craving for a hearty soup in the middle of summer!

  2. Just what I need while sitting in a snow covered landscape. It sounds wonderful, maybe I should make some.