What could be better on a cold Winter's night than a bistro themed spread: a French onion soup, quiche, and maybe tart tartin.
And, what would a French onion soup be without a toasted crouton, aka a sop? Sops are used for soaking up a warm liquid, broth or wine, and was the term used in days of yore. I guess it was only natural that the word soup derived from sop.
In my Five Onion Soup, the mixture of five onions gives a nice character to the soup. But, no sweat if you have less than five, just use a sweet onion and you'll have a tasty version. The so called bar of success in making an onion soup is all the slow cooking and gradual 'caramelizing' of the onions. The natural sweetness from the onions adds the rich robust flavor and golden brown color, the prize in this soup.
CREAMY FIVE ONION SOUP
Makes 6-8 servings
chefgeorgehirsch.com | From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series
This easy to prepare hearty soup for a cool night makes for a wonderful dinner or rustic appetizer.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 each sweet onions*, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 each Chipolini onions, chopped
1 each red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup half and half
French bread croutons
Parmesan, Emmental, or Gruyere cheese
Pre heat a large soup or saucepot to a medium heat. Add olive oil, sweet onions, garlic, chipolini onions, red onion and green onion. Cook for 10 minutes without stirring until you begin to see the onions in the bottom of the pot begin to brown, Stir, and allow the onions to continue to further brown. Stir and allow onions to cook for an additional five minutes. Total cooking time of onions will be about 20 minutes or more.
Season with thyme, bay leaves, pepper, add tomato sauce, flour and stir. Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes or until dry. Add chicken broth, beef broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, cover and cook about 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaves then, puree one half of soup in blender or food processor.
Return pureed soup back to soup pot. Bring soup back to a boil; reduce temperature down to a simmer. Add optional half and half. Serve with a toasted French bread crouton, top with grated Parmesan and melt Emmental or Gruyere cheese.
*Note on onions: Soup may be made with any type sweet onions and garlic only. Or, you may use addition of any onion family such as leeks, chives, etc.