This week the days have been a bit warmer in the Bay Area, yet the evenings are crisp. I crave a brilliant bowl of piping hot soup when there is a chill in the air and the sky is dark. It brings a sense of comfort and warmth. Our fireplace has gone non-stop this winter and it brings us much joy.
It is hard to believe that another month has passed by and it is time again for Blogger C.L.U.E. Society. I am fortunate to belong to a group of fantastic food bloggers who have a secret society of sorts. Each month we are assigned to a blogger and a theme – our job is to explore the assigned site and find a recipe that fits the theme and post on the second Wednesday of each month. For February, our theme was “Soups and Stews” – so perfect for this chilly time of year – right?
I was lucky enough to be assigned to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy and her hubby Frank are retired police officers who decided to trade in the city life for a more serene way of life on the farm. They have been married for 22 years and both had kids from previous marriages and blended the families beautifully. They raise chickens, belong to a CSA, planted trees and flowers, had her parents live with them until Dad passed and Mom was better off being in a memory care center where she has visitors daily and is quite happy. Wendy loves to travel, read, entertain, cook, quilt and paint. Her hubby is a private pilot like my hubby and I am sure if they lived closer would be flying buddies. I need suggest one of her reading list choices to our next book club. This month we are reading – “The Girl at War”by Sara Novic.
This is actually the second time I have her blog. Back in August I made her Mango Jicama Salsa and it was a show stopper. After going through her soups recipe log, I could not help but continue to navigate back to the French Onion Soup. I have not made this soup in a long time and have been craving it. I took her recipe and made it my own by making some changes. The end result is a rich and satisfying soup that is perfect enjoying by a warm fire and a great moving playing in the background. A perfect evening indeed!
Classic French Onion Soup
3 Large White Onions, Sliced Thin
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and minced
½ Cup Bourbon Whisky
2 Tablespoons Veal Demi Glace
6 Cups Beef Stock
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
6 Cups Sourdough Bread Cubes, Toasted
5 Cups Gruyere, Shredded
Melt butter along with olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly caramelized. Deglaze the pan with Bourbon Whiskey. Add the fresh thyme leaves, garlic, beef stock and demi glace. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Cut a loaf of sourdough bread into one inch cubes – enough for 6 lightly packed cups. Lay onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes OR until they are dried and crouton like.
To assemble, use individual crocks or large oven proof ramekins. Fill each bowl halfway with the onion soup, add a tablespoon of parmesan cheese to each one plus a large pinch of the shredded gruyere. Next divide the toasted bread cubes among each bowl. Divide the remaining parmesan cheese among each bowl. Then divide the remaining gruyere and top each bowl.
Set onto a sturdy baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes OR until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and enjoy!