French Onion Soup with Parmesan Croutons

onion soup_1It makes sense that I’m posting this recipe after Forrest’s exposition on cooking as hobby and necessity– this delicious french onion soup was born out of a need to use everything in my kitchen before I leave Binghamton for the holidays.

That’s right!  In a week I’ll be leaving cold, snowy Binghamton and heading to… cold, snowy New Haven.  There’s a part of me that’s saying, “Finally!  The semester is over!  And now I get to return home to my three favorite F’s: family, friends, and Forrest” (that’s a lot of alliteration!). And then there’s another (albeit much smaller and quieter) part of me thinking “Where did the semester go!  And how am I going to get everything done…?”

onion soup_2

So, back to the soup.  I was craving it the other day (nothing new there).  And I realized, french onion soup is really not all that hard.  This recipe was made entirely with things I already had in my kitchen, and, even better, I used up some onions that I might otherwise have had to throw away before leaving for the winter.  Also, unlike some recipes I looked at online, it doesn’t require the addition of Worcestershire sauce for flavor.  Have you seen what’s in that stuff?  It’s loaded with sugar and sodium, and unless you buy the all natural Lea & Perrins original, preservatives.  I played a bit and came up with my own flavor boosters– just some dijon mustard, balsamic, garlic salt, and cayenne.  No fancy tools (although a beautiful blue dutch oven would have made the experience even more enjoyable) or fancy ingredients here.  Just warm, tangy broth and soft, flavorful onions slowly caramelized on the stovetop, topped with crispy parmesan croutons for extra deliciousness.  All you really need to make french onion soup is patience.  And some cheese.  

French Onion Soup and Parmesan Croutons
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French Onion Soup
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 4-5 medium yellow onions, sliced
  3. 6 cups beef broth
  4. 3/4 cup white wine
  5. 2 tbs dijon mustard
  6. 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne
  8. 1 tsp garlic salt
  9. pepper to taste
Parmesan Croutons
  1. Baguette slices (1 per person; about 1/2 inch thick), cut into cubes
  2. olive oil
  3. garlic salt
  4. black pepper
  5. shredded parmesan cheese
French Onion Soup
  1. In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, stirring to coat in butter. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust heat to low/medium and cook onions for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until onions are browned.
  4. Add beef broth, wine, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and spices. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Test and adjust spices if necessary.
  6. Top with parmesan croutons before serving.
Parmesan Croutons
  1. Place baguette cubes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over bread cubes.
  4. Bake under the broiler until just browned and crispy.
  5. Top french onion soup with croutons. Also, scrape any baked cheese pieces from the baking sheet into soup-- it adds a great texture and flavor!
Degrees of Prep http://degreesofprep.com/

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