Thursday, April 22, 2010

Five Onion Soup

I've started browsing the cookbook section of my local library. Surprisingly, they have some really good ones, including this Panera Bread Cookbook. As you could guess, everything in it sounds delicious, but alas I could not make them all. Instead, I settled on one soup that could be eaten for days.

Enter, the fanciest french onion soup you've ever seen without all the extra work of, you know, making it fancy. Not only do you use red and yellow onions, you get to throw in shallots, leeks, and scallions. Needless to say, I was interested after my first look. Most of the work is dealing with so many onions, but after the chopping torture, it's mostly dump and cook, which is my favorite cooking method.

The mix of onions gaves it a strong, lovely flavor without some of that added edge that I usually get with other french onion soup recipes. Maybe it's just me. Also, I'm pissed at my local Publix. Most of my shallots had already started to mold. I could salvage enough to make my recipe work, but still. Despite that, it turned out really good. This is also a great reminder that you can make this with any mix of onions you have on hand. Good thing to think about next time you're wondering what to do with a bumper crop.

5 Onion Soup
Panera Bread Cookbook

Serves 6-8
3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced pole to pole
3 red onions, halved and sliced
6 shallots, halved and sliced
3 leeks (white parts only), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
3 c scallions (greens reserved for croutons if you wish)
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 750-ml bottle red wine
1 small bunch thyme (12 sprigs), cut into 4-inch lengths
6 quarts beef stock

In a large stockpot, saute the onions, shallots, leeks, scallion whites, garlic, and a heavy pinch of salt in 2 T oil until the onions begin to carmalize. Deglaze with red wine. Add the thyme and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 1 hour. Adujst seasoning with salt and pepper. Eat with cheese toast.

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