I just happen to have two onions, garlic and left over beef broth made from Pressure Cooker Roast Beef. There are so many things you can do with beef broth….Maryland Crab Soup, Beef Barley Soup, Beef Stroganoff. These will all be upcoming recipes on Galley Pirates some day. But this evening we’re going to focus on one of my Skipper’s favorites, French Onion Soup. I like to keep this soup traditional. It amazes me how so many restaurants can really mess up French Onion Soup simply because they try to change it, cheapen it (Gruyère is not cheap) or give it their own twist. Let’s stick with tradition today.
French Onion Soup
2 large yellow onions
4 cloves garlic, 2 pressed; 2 cut in half for rubbing bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup white wine
5 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
8 slices of crusty French Bread
1/2 lb grated Gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon dry sherry
To begin, you’ll want to toast your bread. Heat of your galley oven as hot as you can get it, over 400º if you can. Slice your bread into nice 1″ slices. Lay them on a cooking sheet. Once your oven is up to temperature, place the bread in the oven and toast while you prepare the rest of the soup. Once toasted, remove from the oven but keep the oven on. You’ll want it nice and hot when you put the cheese-smothered soup bowls in.
When I made this French Onion Soup I had just purchased this wonderful Hand Cranked Ultra Chef Express with an array of attachments. Thought I’d try out the mandolin attachment. I don’t know about you but, but mandolins scare the heck out of me. I feel like I can never quite get a grip on the vegetable and the thought of (and memory of) slicing the top layer of my knuckles off remains vivid.
But I gave this tool a go with the first onion and no injuries. Maybe I will get over my mandolin phobia some day after all.
I sliced the second onion the traditional way. Both worked.
Melt the butter and EVOO in your largest pot over medium to high heat. Toss in the pressed garlic and all the sliced onions along with the salt, pepper and sugar. These onions are going to need to brown and soften and caramelize, so do be patient as you cook them.
Simmer on medium to low heat for a half hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the white wine, raise the heat a bit and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beef broth (this can be made from scratch or, my favorite, Better Than Bouillon), the Worcestershire Sauce, thyme and continue to simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed; it may need more salt.
In the mean time, your baguettes should have already been pulled out of the oven and cooled.
Rub one side of each bread with a clove of garlic.
While that continues to simmer, grate your Gruyère. There’s an attachment on my Hand Cranked Ultra Chef Express for that as well. I probably grate twice the amount as most recipes. That melted Gruyère, especially those browned drips picked off the side of the bowl, are my favorite part of French Onion Soup.
Ladle the soup into oven proof bowls and place on a baking sheet. Putting foil on the sheet helps for easy clean-up when the cheese spills over. And you want that to happen! Splash a little Sherry on top.
Lay the toasted baguettes on the broth. Don’t submerge.
Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Gruyère on top.
Then place in your nice hot oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. It’s best to do this in an un-gimbaled stove at the dock or on fair seas, as you can imagine!
Be very careful when you take them out of the oven. They can spill easily and are very hot!
Let cool for a good 10 minutes before you serve them. That bread and cheese “cover” keeps the heat in for a long time. Forewarn your guest before they stick their spoons in.
The perfect French Onion Soup would have had even MORE cheese dripping down the side. But I’ll take this…and so will my skipper!