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Onion Soup

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Onion soup is believed to be typically French, but it was brought to this country a century and a half ago and has remained a popular soup. It turns up in the South around New Orleans, in New York State, and in the Far west around San Francisco. It has certainly become Americanized in these last years with the appearance of dehydrated and canned versions. You can greatly improve dehydrated onion soups, incidentally, by using good stock with them and a touch of wine.

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, crisp, savory, winey

Type of Dishhot soup, soup

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 medium onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon or more sugar (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine or port
  • 8 slices crisp toast, preferably crusty French bread
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or Asiago cheese

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onions in butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until they are soft and take on color. You may sprinkle them with a small amount of sugar and toss them so that the sugar caramelizes and colors them. Salt them. Add boiling broth and wine-I happen to prefer port, for it was the onion soup I grew up on. Blend over medium heat. Serve in heated bowls with Parmesan cheese and crisp slices of hot toasted French bread.

  2. Variations

  3. (1) Ladle soup into ovenproof dishes and add slices of toast heaped with grated Switzerland cheese and some Parmesan, place in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or so till the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve at once with additional toast and bowls of grated Switzerland cheese and Parmesan.

  4. (2) Instead of the port or red wine add 2/3 cup applejack to the soup.

  5. Onion Soup Made with Chicken Broth. Substitute rich chicken broth for the beef broth white wine for the red. This is a very delicate and delicious version of onion soup which I first discovered in upper New York State.

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