Friday, October 12, 2012

French Onion Soup à la Julia

First, you should watch the master herself make this dish.

I think I've watched it 50 times since I discovered it on Saturday... I love Julia.

And - best moment ever - I was standing in the kitchen, mid-soup, watching the video to remind myself how much vermouth was needed, and Mr. S called out from the bedroom "What was that?"

He thought I was Julia!! Day made.

And I'm fairly certain that my soup tastes just like hers. The house smells delicious too. 

Perhaps there's a market for a French Onion Soup candle? I'm willing to license that idea. 

Mmmmmmmm. But then I'd be hungry all the time. Maybe it's not such a grand idea. 
I'd better stick to French Onion Soup in soup form. 

To make this soup, I basically just followed her instructions.

Butter and oil in a large dutch oven. 

Onions. Chop them. Try Julia's method - it goes faster. 

Now, caramelize those onions in butter and oil. It takes time. 15 minutes or so. Just twiddle your thumbs or something. Check out the newest cat photos on the interwebs.

Turn the heat up and stir the onions around fairly frequently, for about 30 minutes, until they are deep brown. 

Mix in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. 

Add in the stock, ladle at a time, stirring after each addition. 

 Now, the vermouth. 

Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Then add in the brandy.

Spoon into bowls, add the crouton. 

Sprinkle with swiss cheese. 

Slide under the broiler for 1 minute or so, until the cheese melts. 

Serve with extra croutons. (Julia didn't say to do that - but it's a really good idea. Go for it!)

French Onion Soup à la Julia
Adapted from Ms. Child

Around 5 c. sliced yellow onions (a bit more definitely won't hurt - buy the bag o'onions and start slicing)
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 qts beef stock
1 c. vermouth
3 tbsp brandy
Salt & pepper to taste
crouton and swiss cheese for topping

Toss the oil and butter in a large dutch oven on low heat. Allow to melt. Stir in the onions, coating them with the butter. Over low heat, let the onions caramelize in the melted butter and oil for 15 minutes. No need to stir. Just relax. 

Now's the time to stir. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir frequently while the onions brown. This will take 30-40 minutes. Not a minute less. This is where the flavor comes from. Do not skip even a second. 

Once the onions are nice and browned, stir in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes. Ladle in the broth, stirring vigorously after each addition. Then add the vermouth. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down again. Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes. 

Add in the brandy. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (but remember cheese adds salt!) Spoon into bowls. Top with crouton and cheese. Slide under a broiler for cheese to melt. 

Decide that you need to move to France and eat this all the time.

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