Okay, so I have officially moved OUT of the in-laws and into my own apartment. That means I have my own kitchen, and I am so excited to be able to start cooking up a storm. Since the temperatures outside dropped for a bit, I thought a nice soup for dinner would be a great idea, and I have never made any kind of soup before. In trying to figure out what kind of soup I could make with ingredients I already had, french onion soup came to mind. I already had onions, wine, cheese, and bread. Not to mention Joe loves french onion soup. This recipe from Food Network is what I chose to go by, and there was some as-I-go changes and adjustments because the time frames listed in the recipe were completely inaccurate. Well, at least they were for me. It definitely did not take 25 minutes to caramelize the onions, and it took way more than 5 minutes to evaporate the wine. Whoever wrote the instructions to this soup probably should revamp it. So here goes what I actually did, and it turned out pretty tasty!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced (I used 5 small onions)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs (I didn't have fresh thyme so I sprinkled in some dried thyme)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle (I used what I had in stock, Chianti which worked out well)
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere (I just used shredded Kraft Swiss, which was still quite delicious)
In a large pot, melt a stick of butter. As the butter melts and warms up, slice all your onions and chop up garlic. You can make your onions as big or as small as you want for the soup. I sliced some onions and chopped some just for the fun of it. Saute your onions until they caramelize in the butter with garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. This took me about 15 minutes or so. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until wine has evaporated. The original recipe said 5 minutes, but this took about another 15 minutes. I could have very well not had the heat high enough, but what I did worked out just fine. Once the wine has mostly evaporated remove bay leaves and fresh thyme, add flour and stir. Cook for about five more minutes. Pour all of the broth into the pot and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. I didn't add any more salt and pepper because the broth had plenty of salt. For a little different twist, I cut the baguette into cubes, toasted them in a pan with butter to make croutons. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl, drop a handful of shredded Swiss cheese into soup (or more handfuls of cheese if you so desire) and float croutons on top. Voila! Yummy french onion soup. Just beware your entire house will smell like onions for at least a day - consider opening a window or lighting candles.