One of the most famous French soup – ONION SOUP – traditionally was served as a morning meal to the workers and porters of Les Halles Market in Paris back in 80-s XIX, which was opened overnight (from 9 pm till 8 am). Onion soup has been in French cuisine so long that it is impossible to find out when it was invented. From some historic resources we know that most probably its place of origin was in Champagne region in France.
In others documents it was mentioned that onion soup existed already in 14th century as there was some similar recipe from thinly sliced onions in butter and topped with pea puree or water and verjus (Viandier’s cookbook by Taillevent).
At the beginning onion soup was very cheap and it was soup of the poor, from beef jus, broth, onions and bread. Only later by adding few more ingredients like alcohol and placing the plate under the broiler this dish transcended class distinctions.
Today, served in many restaurants it still remains as the dish that destroys the borders, confirming every word of Dufour, manager of the Pied de Cochon:
“You can’t put it into a social category. If you’re one of the haves or one of the have-nots, soup is for everybody”.
Modern recipe includes some quantity of dry white wine and brandy. In my recipe I excluded alkohol. But you can be sure it doesn’t influence on the taste if using rich chicken or vegetable broth and follow the steps of the recipe.
Enjoy and have a tasty day!
(For 4 portions)
1.Peel and slice the onions using slicer.
2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and stir to coat them in the fat. Season with salt. Then cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring few times, until the onions begin to soften and they start smell sweet without bitterness. Stir in the thyme.
3. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and cook the onions for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are very soft and golden yellow.
4. Uncover the pan and increase the heat slightly. Stir in the sugar and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the vinegar and increase the heat again, then continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions turn a deep, golden brown (around 20 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in another saucepan. Stir the flour into the onions and cook for about 2 minutes, then gradually pour in the hot stock. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
6. For the croûtes, preheat the oven to 160C. Place the slices of bread on a greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until dry and lightly browned. Rub the bread with the cut surface of the garlic and spread with the mustard, sprinkle the grated cheese over the slices.
7. Preheat the grill on the hottest setting. Ladle the soup into 4 flameproof bowls.
8. Float the croûtes on the top and grill until cheese melts and browns. Serve immediately.
Bon appetite and tasty day to all!
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