Great French Dishes Made Easy



Sample Recipe:

French Onion Soup with Croustades of Cheese (Soupe a L'Oignon Gratineed)

The essence of a good onion soup is made when the onions are cooked very slowly in butter...the longer, the better. What you are actually doing, is sweating or melting the onions and releasing their intense flavor. As far as ingredients go, there is very little that varies one soup recipe from another. The distinguishing factor is usually in technique. The onions, when sauteed very, very slowly, will turn into a rich brown color and become limp. There should be no evidence of the edges becoming crisp or fried.

6 onions, medium-sized (remove skins and whiskers. Slice onions in half lengthwise and cut them into 1/8-inch slices.)
1 clove garlic, put through a press
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons honey
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

4 tablespoons dry white wine 2 tablespoons flour

2 cans (10 1/2 ounces, each) beef broth
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

6 slices French bread, toasted
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

6 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese

In a 4-quart saucepan, saute onions, garlic and shallots with honey and butter, over low heat, until onions are golden and soft. Add wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring and turning. Add broths, water and seasonings and heat through, stirring now and again.

Place 6 oven-proof soup bowls on a cookie sheet. Place 1 slice French bread, 1/4 cup grated Gruyere, 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, and soup in each bowl. Heat in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Place 1 slice of Gruyere over each bowl and continue baking until cheese is melted. Serve at once. Serves 6.


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