Three Cheese French Onion Soup

Three Cheese French Onion Soup

 French Onion Soup is, for some­thing so inher­ently sim­ple, an amaz­ing com­bi­na­tion of fla­vors and textures.

Done right, French Onion Soup is one of the biggest pay-off dishes you can pos­si­bly make. That first bite of bubbly-brown gruyere, loaded on top of ooz­ing swiss and still crispy crou­ton, drip­ping with fla­vor­ful broth and caramelized onions. It’s almost too much.

It’s pop­u­lar as an appe­tizer, but there’s enough there for a sim­ple meal. And there’s no rea­son you can’t pre­pare the com­po­nents ahead of time and re-heat at the point of assem­bly. Even the cros­tini can be made a cou­ple of days ahead if needed. You can also leave out the port, although it looses most of the alco­hol in reduc­ing and sim­mer­ing, and the fla­vor will be altered with­out it. Just replace it with an equal amount of beef stock.

Make sure you use a pan with a lot of bot­tom sur­face area to caramelize the onions. The more con­tact the onions have with the bot­tom of the pan, the more chance it has to develop the brown carameliza­tion that is the magic of this soup. It just takes a lit­tle patience, but what it does to the onions is crucial.

Three Cheese French Onion Soup

Serv­ing Size: serves 6

Ingre­di­ents

  • 2 pounds onions–peeled and juli­enne sliced
  • 2 Table­spoons olive oil
  • 2 Table­spoons butter–unsalted
  • 1/4 tea­spoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic–peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup port
  • 2 quarts beef stock/broth
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Table­spoon beef base
  • 1 Table­spoon chicken base
  • salt & pep­per to taste
  • 12 slices swiss cheese
  • 5 ounces gruyere–shredded
  • 3 ounces goat cheese–herbed or plain
  • flat-leaf pars­ley for garnish
  • Cros­tini:
  • 1 french baguette
  • olive oil
  • salt and pep­per for seasoning

Instruc­tions

  1. Cut both ends off the onions and slice in half lengthwise.
  2. Peel, and juli­enne slice from root to tip into 1/4 inch slices. When you are carameliz­ing onions you need thicker slices, oth­er­wise they will just melt away.
  3. In a large, wide and heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and but­ter together until but­ter begins to siz­zle. Add the onions and toss into the oil/butter mix­ture just to coat. Sprin­kle the kosher salt over the onions. The salt will sea­son and assist in caramelization.
  4. On medium-high heat, let the onions cook and begin to brown. Do not over-stir. Just move the onions around barely enough to keep them from burn­ing. Con­tinue this process, let­ting onions brown and soften, stir­ring only to keep onions from burn­ing and stick­ing to much to the bot­tom of the pan. This will take any­where from 20–30 min­utes, depend­ing on the thick­ness of the onions. As with many dishes, the longer you take to caramelize, the more fla­vor you will be adding to the fin­ished prod­uct. Some­times you will get a hot spot, so rotate your pan around as well. If you do get a spot that appears to be over-browning, add an 1/8 cup of water and deglaze that area. You want nice, deep-brown action, but you DON’T want BURNT! This will affect your entire dish!
  5. Once the onion are caramelized and soft­ened (see photo), and the pan is still good and hot, add the port.
  6. Stir and loosed the browned bits from the bot­tom and sides of the pan. This is de-glazing. You are incor­po­rat­ing the carameliza­tion that has occurred on the bot­tom of the pan (fla­vor!), as well as reduc­ing the liq­uid added. If you choose not to use port, add an equal amount of beef stock/broth instead to deglaze. Let liq­uid sim­mer until reduced by half. This should only take a few minutes.
  7. Next, add the gar­lic slices, the beef stock/broth, and the thyme and bayleaf. Sim­mer for 20 min­utes on medium heat.
  8. In the mean­time, pre­pare the cros­tini.
  9. Slice the baguette into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Slice them on the bias–this means on an angle, as this will give you slices with more sur­face area. Depend­ing on the size of the cros­tini, and the size of your serv­ing dishes, you will need 12–24 cros­tini. You want the whole sur­face of your soup cov­ered. Make a few extra, it won’t kill you.….
  10. Driz­zle a lit­tle olive oil over each slice, and sea­son with salt and pepper.
  11. Place on a bak­ing sheet and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 10–15 min­utes, flip­ping over halfway. You want these cros­tini nicely browned and CRISP! all the way through, as they will be try­ing their best to soak up the awe­some onion soup. You don’t want them too soggy too fast!
  12. Let them cool and divide the goat cheese between the slices, spread­ing a layer of cheese on each.
  13. Fin­ish the soup off by adding the beef and chicken base. Salt and pep­per to taste. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and discard.
  14. When ready to serve, pre­heat the oven to broil.
  15. Place your oven-safe con­tain­ers onto a bak­ing dish to catch drips and make trans­port­ing soup eas­ier. Ladle the hot soup into oven-proof bowls, cups, or ramekins.
  16. Arrange 2–4 cheese cov­ered cros­tini over the top of the soup, cheese side up.
  17. Lay two slices of swiss over the top of the crou­tons and the bowl. I like to let the slices over­lap the edge of the dish. It keeps the grated cheese from falling down into the soup, and looks seri­ously cool when all brown and gooey.
  18. Divide the grated gruyere over the six bowls, sprin­kling an evan layer over each.
  19. Place the bowls into the oven, about 6 inches from the broiler and let broil until cheese is brown and bub­bly, about 1–2 min­utes. Gar­nish with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.
  20. Serve imme­di­ately, let­ting guests know that the soup is ridicu­lously hot, but that they should eat it as soon as the dan­ger of seri­ous burn­ing has passed, because half the plea­sure from French onion soup lies in the tex­ture differences.
http://secretlifeofachefswife.com/anthologie/three-cheese-french-onion-soup

 

Cheeses

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5 Comments

  1. I love my onion soup extra-cheesy, like this! Looks so delicious :)

  2. Oh my good­ness, this looks amaz­ing! I always love find­ing recipes that can use up some of all the bread I have in my freezer :)

  3. looks good. how do you spell pork? just kidding.

  4. This french onion soup looks absolutely amaz­ing! I must try this!

  5. I could dive into a bowl of this right now!

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