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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recipe: Onion Soup

Makes 4 servings
Time: about 1 hour

This onion soup has a thin coating of good cheese rather than the more common gobs of mozzarella or Cheddar. It's light but incredibly deep in flavor.

4 T (1/2 stick) butter
4 large onions, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
5 C beef or chicken stock, preferably warmed
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme or pinch dried thyme
2 or 3 sprigs fresh parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T cognac (optional)
4 croutons, made with bread slices & butter
1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and beginning to brown, 30 to 45 minutes.
Add the stock, turn the heat to medium-high and bring just about to a boil. Turn down the heat so that the mixture sends up a few bubbles at a time. Add the seasoning herbs, salt, pepper, and cognac and cook for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Fish out the parsley and thyme sprigs, if any. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, then reheat before proceeding.)
Place a crouton in each of four ovenproof bowls. Add a portion of soup and top with cheese. Place the bowls in a roasting pan or on a sturdy baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

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