[Glorious Food and Wine is currently on holiday in Brazil (yey!). This is a republication of a post originally published in February 2007]
I can not complain. This winter has been a lot milder than in the past years. Then again I do miss the snow and crisp cold. But Belgium rarely has that kind of winter so life just goes on. As does cooking.Soups. I love soups. Cold, warm, heavy or not, there is a soup for every seazon. Unfortunately I don’t cook them nearly enough. With convenience next door, during the week I tend to go for packed soups and enjoy what Knorr, Campbell’s etc offer.
One soup in particular caught my attention though. We were out one weekend, and after photographing Brussels through rain and wind, we stopped for a beer and … a soup. I had the best French Onion soup ever! I know setting, time of day, hunger (!) play a major role when defining ‘the best ever’. But the French Onion soup stayed in my memory, so I decided the best thing to do is to try recreate it.Looking through the food blogosphere I also came across a wonderful soup event (I’ll have to bookmark that!) hosted at A Veggie Venture. What a wonderful idea: the world is cooking soup. I love reading on the many different, new, unusual soup recipes. And now my very own French Onion soup. Voila.
For this recipe I combined a recipe from James Martin and one featured in olive. One had too much butter, the other not enough cheese, so bringing in my own touch I managed to cook what turned out to be a pretty tasty French Onion soup. Granted, there are some things I would do different, but more on that later.
French Onion Soup (serves 4)
5 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
750ml vegetable stock
250gr grated Gruyere cheese
4 slices of bread
2 shots of brandy
salt and pepper, flat leaf parsley
Thinly slice the onion and garlic, then saute in a pan with the butter. Stir well before adding the stock and brandy. Bring to the boil, simmer for 10min.
Toast the bread, top with the grated cheese and place under the grill.
Seazon the soup with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup, top with the bread and cheese toast, sprinkle with parsley.
What would I improve or change? Firstly I think that many onions and garlic only thinly sliced make for a lumpy soup. Next time I would probably chop very finely 3 onions, and only slice 2 to keep the texture.
The recipes also suggested adding red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. I didn’t see how this could work, so I left it out.
Further the olive recipe suggested to use 8 slices of bread: one at the bottom of the bowl, then soup, then another slice on top (as shown). I found that could be a little too heavy and bread’y so I skipped the slice of bread in the soup.