I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Honestly, it is days like this that make me regret signing up for NaBoPoMo. I have spent the day shopping and hanging out with family, and here it is 10:30 PM, and I've yet to write a blog post. I would love to go sit on the couch and watch tv with Joey, but I am committed, darn it!
So anyway, one of this month's Barefoot Bloggers recipes is an updated version of an old classic - French Onion Soup. It is one of my favorite things to order in a restaurant. I love the gooey, melty cheese, the bread, sweet onions, and flavorful broth. But let's be honest: the bread and the cheese are the best part.
This is a pretty standard recipe, it just replaces some of the onions with fennel. I am actually not a huge fan of fennel, but I've decided that I like it if its cooked, but don't care for it raw. In this soup, it just adds a bit of extra sweetness and a nice depth of flavor to add to the caramelized onions. A perfect soup for the cold weather, and a great recipe to have in your repertoire.
Onion and French Onion Soup Gratin
The Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?
serves 4 to 6
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 lbs Spanish onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 lbs fennel, tops and cores removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 7-8 cups beef broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Tbs kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small sourdough or white French boule, crusts removed and sliced 1/2 in thick, toasted
- 4 to 6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
Add the sherry and brandy, scraping up the browned bits in the pan, and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaves, salt, and pepper,and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and taste for seasoning.
Preheat the broiler and ladle the soup into heat-proof serving bowls. Top with the toasted bread, sprinkle generously with grated cheese, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.