French Onion Soup

Photo from Food Network
I absolutely adore this soup and it is perfect for my self-imposed intervention and challenge. If you've followed my blog for any time at all, you might see that I do a lot of Mexican type of dishes and you might have also picked up on the not-so-subtle hints from Mr. Bell that he actually prefers a little less cilantro and salsa in his daily diet. Well, with Christmas Eve less than two weeks away, I have the perfect menu planned - a Chile Verde Posole, Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Chicken Fajita Pizza and Sopapilla Cheesecake. You can see that it is quite Latin-esque, right? Well, my plan is a two pronged attack.

  1. I'll simply wrap the Cilantro Lime Shrimp in bacon and he may not notice the rest of it. 
  2. Here's the intervention/challenge part for me and is a little more difficult. I am not going to make anything remotely Mexican food-ish between now and then. Hopefully by Christmas Eve, he'll be begging for guacamole.

In the meantime, I'm digging out some of our favorites. We both love this French Onion Soup. It is so good and it is well worth the extra time it takes to caramelize the onions. It is also worth the extra money to buy some really good Vidalia or Maui onions. What I don't recommend is making this as a date food.... There is no neat and dainty way to eat this soup. You have been warned.

French Onion Soup
Recipe by Tyler Florence
1/2 cup butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine - not cooking wine, if you wouldn't enjoy a glass of it to drink, you won't enjoy it in your food
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock - if you don't have homemade, I recommend Progresso Beef Stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound Swiss or Provolone cheese, grated or thinly sliced

  1. Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 - 30 minutes. 
  2. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are almost dry, about 5-10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. 
  3. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices brushed with butter broil until crisp on both sides - about 2 minutes per side but watch closely as it will burn quickly!
  5. Ladle the soup in bowls and top with toast and croutons. Place soup bowls on baking sheet and place back in broiler and broil until cheese is melted and browned.