French Onion Soup
Fascination with Julia Child’s French cooking continues… French Onion Soup, something we always love, but never dared to try at home. Honestly, when we order from restaurants, it’s always a hit or miss, that makes me think that French Onion Soup is really difficult to make ?. Julia made it look quite simple though. The other nice thing about the soup is that the ingredients are quite simple, nothing I do not have in my pantry or refrigerator.
For the soup, I used 3 huge sweet onion, about 3 pounds! According to Julia Child, the browning should take 2 steps, cook onion first till they are soft and translucent. Over medium high heat, it didn’t take that long, but it did reduce the volume to about half.
Once it’s quite cooked, start the browning process. Julia suggested adding 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to speed up the browning process. In hindsight, I probably should have just forgo the sugar idea. I had browned onion many times without sugar. It might have sped up the browning process, but it left the soup a bit too sweet to my taste. Next time, I will just be patient and brown onion on its own. Or, better yet, use a slow cooker to brown onion without the need to stir it constantly.
The caramelized onion has a wonderful color and smell to it. They are really good in burgers, sandwiches, or over steak. Patience is the key. That’s probably the main reason why some restaurants have better soup than others.
The broth is really important for the success of the soup. I guess that could be another reason quality of French Onion soup can differ so greatly. I made stock today from pork bones and vegetables. That took little effort, simply simmer over low heat for a long time.
The Croutes were made from the French Baguette I made the other day. I cut them a bit too thick, nonetheless, they were great in the soup. I did brush olive oil over both sides and toast in 350F for about 20 minutes. Over the croutes, I used a mix of Swiss Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. The rich flavor and stringy texture offered by the mixed cheese just made the soup so delightful.