Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Onion soup...a hit!

It was a hit with me, anyway. Steve's still at school tonight so he won't get to try it until tomorrow. I'm sure the kids won't like it. But I do. And that's all that matters.

So...here's the recipe...

The Easiest Onion Soup
From: Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
Cooker: Medium round or oval
Setting and cook time: HIGH for 9-10 hours

6 large yellow onions (I used a mixture - 3 yellow, 2 red, and 1 sweet something or other. I think you can be really flexible when it comes to onions)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
One 14-ounce can chicken broth
One 10.5-ounce can beef broth
2 tablespoons Marsala or red wine (optional)
Four to six 1-inch-thick slices French bread
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, cut into thin slices

1. Peel and thinly slice the onions by hand or in a food processor. Do this in a food processor if you can. I did my onions by hand at 8am this morning and my eyes are still hurting 11 1/2 hours later! Put in the slow cooker (or big bowl!) and toss with the olive oil. Use a good olive oil here. Mine is mediocre and you can really taste it in this recipe. Cover and cook for 9 to 10 hours on HIGH. Ok...this was a big mistake that I *just* realized. I cooked the onions on LOW all day and they were still a bit firm tonight...good flavor but not quite done. DOH! You need to set the cooker on HIGH so they will caramelize properly.

2. Add both the broths and Marsala, if using; add no water or salt. Cover and continue to cook on HIGH until hot, 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil or leave plain. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

4. Ladle the soup into individual ovenproof soup bowls and place on a baking sheet to prevent the bowls from tipping over. Top each bowl full of soup with a toasted bread slice and cover with a slice of the Gruyere. Adjust the oven rack to comfortably fit the bowls under the broiler with at least 4 inches to spare. Turn on the broiler and slide the soups under the flame; broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

I must say, I did not add the bread when I had my soup tonight. I shaved some Gruyere onto the top and hoped like hell it would melt on it's own (it didn't really) ...tomorrow I'm going to do the whole French bread/broiler/cheese thing. I was so excited to taste this soup that I put in the broths, etc RIGHT AT 9 hours. I thought maybe that was why the onions were still a little firm...but now I can see it was because I had my cooker on LOW instead of HIGH. Hmmm. Yes, still having trouble with the "Follows Directions" portion of my life. I even read the damn recipe about 5 times before I started. Oh well. Next time I will know. Oh, also - I needed to add a dash of salt and fresh pepper to my bowl. The pepper was an excellent touch. Using the real Gruyere, though, just made this dish excellent. Gotta love cheese!!!

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