Friday, 28 January 2011

French Onion Soup ala Sadie

Welcome to ‘The Chronicles of a Reluctant Housewife’ where I document my love/hate relationship with my current occupation.  Join me as I attempt to find a balance between what I think I want and what I do from day to day.

50g butter
750g onions, thinly sliced (or enough onions that your eyes feel like they are melting out of your head and your husband barricades himself upstairs behind closed doors to escape the same fate)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp flour (or whatever type of flour you can lay your hands on because you can’t actually read the food labels as your eyes have melted out of your head)
1 litre Beef Stock
Salt & pepper (a little saline tinged with mascara will suffice)
½ French bread stick
50g Gruyere cheese

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour (3 hours)

1.       Melt the butter in large saucepan (a splash of olive oil will keep it from burning).  Add the onions and sugar, reduce heat to very low and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and a really deep golden brown. (Or, if you want to drag it out because you have some chores to get to or you need to go to bed early and love eating just minutes before laying down, cover the onions and after they still haven’t cooked down and have produced a lot of liquid and aren’t even close to brown in 45 minutes, then realize the recipe didn’t say to cover and you just assumed since you weren’t allowed to take Home Ec in high school where you would have learned the basics to cooking and reading recipes because you were college bound and Brit Lit was better training for your life course.  Uncover the onions and let them cook for another 45 minutes until you just say f**k it, and move on to the next step.)
2.       Sift the flour into the onion mixture and cook over a very low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. (Self-rising flour creates really nice clumps that almost look like onions, so no-one will notice.)
3.       Add the beef stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. (At this point your eyes probably have reconstituted, but your tears of frustration will do for the seasoning.  It took three years for me to realize ‘seasoning’ meant salt & pepper.  Again, I blame my high school guidance counsellors.)
4.       Meanwhile, toast the slices of French Bread lightly on both sides.  Sprinkle with the grated Gruyere.  Pour the soup into a hot tureen.  Place a piece of toast in each serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over the top.  (I find any stale piece of white, non-sliced bread works great.  Spread a little butter on each side, throw them on a baking sheet and into the oven, flip after a few minutes, sprinkle the cheese on and let it melt.  Be sure not to forget about them while stirring constantly.)

The second attempt went much smoother, but the onions still never went brown.  I think it might be the olive oil, but as I am much more likely to burn the butter than care about the colour of onions, I’m over it.

Enjoy.  (on a side note, for anyone on Weight Watchers, this soup is only 5 points, including bread and cheese!  Yeah!!!)

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