Do you eat soup in the summer? I am not talking about cold soups such as gazpacho or vichyssoise. Don’t get me wrong, these are delicious too but I discovered many years ago I gravitate to hot soups vs cold. Even in the summer!
I remember the first time I was served a cold soup at my brothers wedding over 25 yrs ago. I took my first sip and discovered it was cold. One of my brothers groomsman and friend turned to me and said….“hmmmm, they must do things differently on the East Coast, my soup is cold.” HA! That was when we both decided hot soups are better than cold.
So lets make a soup you crave in the winter, when the wind is howling, the snow is falling, your fire place is calling you to curl up with a blanket with a warming bowl of hot homemade soup.
I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees and humid and others may think making soup in these conditions is a bit out of the norm. To be honest, I have always been a bit out of the ordinary and I am ok with that. I was eating “green” and living the “green” life style way before it was “cool” to do so.
Geez, come to think of it, I have been running for over three decades. I have been running races way before it became such a widely accepted sport with races almost every weekend…….if not every weekend. In fact, you didn’t even have to worry about getting into the Boston Marathon with your qualifying time a decade ago. Now even with a qualifying time, you may not get because there are so many more runners today than back when I started.
I never followed the pak (not a good idea in a race I discovered) and I wasn’t interested in doing things because it was cool. So forget about the tattoos, the drugs, getting wasted and the piercings. In fact, I didn’t get my ears pierced till one week before my wedding day at the age of 46. So you see, I just want to be me, living outside the lines a bit. I like eating hot soup in the summer, even when its 90 degrees outside and humid. That would be me. Chef and Runer Karen!
So what do you do with a big sweet onion? How about a half a dozen of them? I know…..you make Soup A L’Oignon Gratine?. Seriously….what’s not to like. Sweet Caramelized onions, rich butter, crusty bread, gooey cheese, all simmered in my homemade bone broth! Is there seriously anything better than a big fat bubbling bowl of cheese-crusted soup?
In fact this soup was one of my favorites as a little girl. My mom would prepare it without wine and it was just as delicious. So if you want to make your kiddos something special before they head back to school, I promise they’ll love this. Cheesy, gooey, and a scrumptious back to school treat. I have made this as a starter too when entertaining guests. It’s always a big hit and I get several requests for the recipe.
Most of the time I use a somewhat acid white wine — no sweetness, since the onions are so sweet. Any single stock can be used but I prefer the balance of beef and chicken.
I’ve found there are pale onions soups and than there are others that appear darker because of the caramelization of the onions. Doesn’t it sound heavenly!
So its it important to cook the onions slowly so they get very dark but do not burn.
When the pan is deglazed, the caramelization, a coating on the onions, comes off into the liquid, leaving the onions clear and the soup very dark. The pan must be large enough so that the onions glaze rather than stew in the juices.
You know what else is so cool about this recipe? You can make it gluten free! Yes that is right…..you serve it without the bread and cheese (the gratin). If so, it will make more servings, the bread absorbs a great deal of soup.
SOUPE A L’OIGNON GRATINE (ONION SOUP)
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 large onions
- 1 cup dry white wine or flat Champagne
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- 5 1/2 cups Basic Chicken Stock (bone broth)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Twelve 3/4 inch diagonal slices Italian or French bread, toasted
- 5 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (11/2 cups), plus 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan; or 1/2 pound low-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced across into 32 slices
- IN A LARFE WIDE POT, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions—-to keep them from stewing rather than browning, spread them in as close to a single layer as possible. Cook stirring occasionally, until they are very brown and soft, about 30 minutes; they will need more frequent stirring toward the end.
- Stir in the wine (if using) and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan vigorously with a wooden spoon to get up all of the browned bits. Continue scraping while pouring in th beef stock. Than pour in the chicken stock. Season with the salt and pepper Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. The soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- To gratine, preheat the broiler and, if necessary, return the soup to the simmer.
- Lay 2 slices of toast in the bottom of each ovenproof casserole. If using, mix together the Gruyere and Parmesan. pour the soup over the slices of bread. Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the soup. Or, if using the mozzarella, lay 4 thin slices over the top of each serving or all the slices over the entire sonnets of the casserole. Place the container (s) under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes until bubbling and brown.