Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worthy of no pictures

This is just embarrassing. Here I commit myself to a food blog, get off to a great start, then instantly fizzle out. In my defense, it's been a madhouse in my life these past few weeks. We moved house last week and are taking a trip to Japan this week. Blogs (and cooking) have not been at the top of my list of priorities, sadly. I haven't even taken any pictures of, well, anything! What have I been feeding my family all this time, you might be wondering? I'm sad to report that an inordinate amount of fish 'n chips have been consumed. At least I varied the fry shacks from which we ordered. Sigh. My head is hanging in shame. I did manage to make something of some nutritional and gustatory value last week, though: French onion soup. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but like I said, the camera has been laying dormant amidst the packing frenzy. I'll hopefully make it again soon this winter, so will post pictures when I do. Hey, I'll take any excuse to make delicious onion soup again!

Many of you may roll your eyes and gag yourselves and call me a heretic when you see that my recipe does not use any sort of red wine or sherry. But, as previously mentioned, we are an alcohol-free household and have had to be creative in finding adequate substitutes. Onion soup has been an especially difficult substitute to find, because the flavor of the wine is so integral to the flavor of the onions and soup. I shied away for years because of this, but no more, friends! No more! While it's nowhere near as good as the one I had in Paris (but come on, it's Paris!), it's still perfectly delicious.

Soupe a l'Oignon au Fromage (French Onion Soup)
Adapted from Gourmet, Jan 1991
Yield: 6 servings

6 large onions (about 5 pounds/2.25 kg), sliced thin
1/4 cup (2 oz/50 gr) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts (1.5 ltr) beef broth
twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices of French bread, toasted
3/4 pound (350 gr) coarsely grated Gruyère

In a large heavy-bottomed pot cook the onions in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring often, for 45 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until absorbed, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth slowly, stir the soup constantly until it comes to a boil, and simmer it, covered, for 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Put 2 slices of the toast in each of 6 heated soup bowls, top each toast with 1 tablespoon of the Gruyère, and pour the soup over the toasts.


  1. The soup was amazing - I couldn't stop eating it! It more than made up for the fish 'n' chips. Don't hang your head in shame, hang your head in pride!

  2. Yum...... I've never made french onion soup before. Sounds so good.

    Instead of the balsamic vinegar, what did they call for in the recipe?

  3. Hi Dana,
    Sorry for the lateness of the reply. There was no substitute for the vinegar (since I made that part up), but I would recommend using either a dry red wine or a medium dry sherry (the latter is my preference). If using wine instead of vinegar, go ahead and use about 1/2 cup and let it cook in a bit. Enjoy!


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