A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

The Epicurious Favorite French Soup Recipe

The Epicurious Favorite French Soup Recipe

I had been eyeing this recipe since last fall. With one thing and another, I never got around to making it at a more weather-appropriate time.  But, even though it is the beginning of July, we had a few days of unseasonably cool weather, and I had the time, so I pulled together all the ingredients and got started.

The recipe recommended Vidalia onions, and when I first saved the recipe last fall, with good intentions of making it, I bought some Vidalia onions.  But fall got busy, I started a lot of business travel, and not wanting the onions to spoil, I sliced 3 lbs worth and froze them.
I wouldn’t use frozen onions again.  Even thawing them in a colander and draining off a lot of liquid, they still had quite a bit of liquid and could have used a lot more time for full carmelization.
If you go to the recipe (link below). You will see others thought they needed a lot more time for caramelization as well.  I would go a little longer at the first stage of caramelizing, and after adding the sugar, salt and pepper, I would go even longer at that stage and really develop a nice, brown caramel color.
Adding the wine and cooking until almost all the liquid was gone had the house smelling good!
After the wine is cooked down, in goes the beef broth.
I didn’t have thyme but looked up substitutes and it said I could use marjoram, just half the amount.  So I snipped some from my herb pot.   The recipe says to tie them together in a bundle.  This didn’t really work out.  I don’t know how you tie together bay leaves with sprigs of marjoram.  Next time I’ll use a cheesecloth bag or just throw them in.  Everything separated from the kitchen twine and I had to fish the stuff out anyway.
Now the kitchen really smelled good with the addition of the herbs to the pot.
As that simmered, I grated Gruyere cheese and cut some slices from a loaf of bread I took from the freezer.  I cut a clove of garlic in half, and turned on the broiler.
I placed the bread under the broiler until it browned, turned it over, let it brown again, and rubbed both sides with the cut garlic clove halves.  The recipe says one side.  I forgot.  But what’s a little more garlic among friends?
I added the half teaspoon of Sherry to each bowl, then ladled in the soup.
I should have filled it higher, and will next time.  I didn’t account for the bread sort of sinking into the soup.
Next went in the croutons.
Now it was time for the Gruyere.  I was generous.
And under the broiler they went.  Really really good.  As good as any I have had at a restaurant!
I read the article about this recipe, as I said, last fall.  The recipe talked about how they looked at lots of different recipes, taking the best of from each one and coming up with this rendition.  It’s definitely now my go-to.  Although I probably won’t make it again in summer!
Here’s the recipe link:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/our-favorite-french-onion-soup-51248680

And here are my notes:
1. Soften the onions longer, and caramelize the onions longer.
2. Use a cheese cloth bag to bundle the herbs.
3. Fill the bowl higher with soup.
4. Double stack the 1/2 inch croutons, having cheese on each layer.
5. Don’t forget to add the butter at the end (oops)


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