We’re Cooking: Kicked Up French Onion Soup

I did a post a few months ago on French Onion Soup that I had made when our buddy Andrew was on the Atkins diet and wasn’t drinking anything but red wine.  Though that version was delicious, with a hearty red wine flavor, I made it again the other night with Sherry and Brandy.  All I can say is delicious!  The Sherry and Brandy just round out the soup adding a layer of sweetness and really punching up the caramelized onion flavors.  Fresh thyme, a few stalks of celery and using both beef and chicken stock added that slow cooked intensity, though the total cooking time was only about half an hour.  Served with rosemary bread toasted with layers of cheese this was a quick, easy, delicious dinner.

Recipe:

French Onion Soup with Sherry and Brandy
Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
6 medium sized white or yellow onions – sliced into thin strips
2 stalks celery – sliced horizontally into thin pieces
3 cloves garlic – chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme – chopped roughly
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt + more if needed
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup brandy
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef stock
4-5 cups chicken stock  (we like a lot of broth, adjust to your taste)
Shredded Gruyère cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
3-4 slices day old bread – we used rosemary bread

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large stock pot of dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, herbs, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings and continue cooking for about 3 minutes.  Add the sherry and brandy, cook for about 5 minutes allowing the alcohol to burn off.  Add the stock and bring to a boil, boil for 4 minutes and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes allowing all the flavors to meld together.  Meanwhile sprinkle the bread generously with a blend of both Gruyère and parmesan cheese.  Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the bread is crunchy.  When ready to serve adjust any final seasonings, ladle into a soup bowl with lots of stock, top with a bit of each cheese and nestle a slice of bread into the broth.

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