Midnight in Paris: The Perfect Onion Soup Gratiné

Tis the season of soup. Dive into Betty Rosbottom’s new cookbook debuting the hottest soups of the year and of all time with fresh salad ideas and sandwiches to match the hot or cold bowls.

Midnight in Paris: The Perfect Onion Soup Gratiné

We love soups and get quite excited when the seasons for piping hot bowls of nourishing liquids arrive. Titled Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Side for Delicious Meals All Year, Betty Rosbottom’s cookbook has hit the spot. From an earthy red bean and rice New Orleans-style soup to a chilled watermelon soup, there is something for everyone and every season, forcing us to rethink our association with soup only being relevant this time of the year.

Midnight in Paris: The Perfect Onion Soup Gratiné

The final chapters dive into light sandwiches, salads, and sweets that accompany soups to turn them from just a bowl to a full fledged meal. We challenge you to have a soup night at least once a week! Make extra, and freeze the leftovers for a delicious meal you can thaw at a moments notice.

To kick things off, start with Betty’s version of the French onion soup.

Midnight in Paris: The Perfect Onion Soup Gratiné

Midnight in Paris: The Perfect Onion Soup Gratiné
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
THE ULTIMATE COLD WEATHER DISH—soupe à l’oignon gratinée—was the pièce de résistance of a popular winter cooking class called “Midnight in Paris” that I taught several years ago. This recipe is based loosely on the first onion soup I ever made from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I. The main difference is that I suggest using a quick short-cut beef stock instead of Julia’s homemade stock. This is a soup where the quality of ingredients used for the topping matters. An aged Gruyère and slices of a good crusty baguette will add immeasurably to the dish’s success. One last tip direct from Julia: She suggests stirring some small strips of Gruyère into the soup before adding the toasted bread slices. Those little strips melt as the soup simmers in the oven, melding beautifully into the onion broth.
Author:
Recipe Type: Soup
Ingredients
  • 2 QT Quick-and-Easy
  • Beef Stock see page 198 in the cookbook
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter 2 TBSP vegetable oil 3 LB yellow onions,
  • sliced ¼-inch thick, to yield 10 cups
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ TSP sugar,
  • plus more if needed
  • ¼ CUP all-purpose flour ¾ CUP dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Toppings
  • 18 baguette slices, cut
  • about ⅜-inch thick
  • 3 – 4 TBSP olive oil,
  • plus more if needed
  • 12-OZ piece good quality
  • aged Gruyère grated to yield 1½ cups and the remainder cut into slivers ¼-inch by 1-inch long to yield ½ cup
Instructions
  1. PREPARE THE QUICK-AND-EASY BEEF STOCK on page 198. When the stock is
  2. made and strained, return it to the pot. Set the pot over very low heat, then cover it, and keep the stock warm at a very low simmer while you prepare the soup.
  3. IN A 5-QUART HEAVY POT (WITH A LID) over medium-low heat, heat the
  4. butter and oil. When hot, add the onions. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, 15 minutes.
  5. REMOVE THE LID and raise the heat to medium. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the
  6. sugar, and the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan so that the flour does not burn, until the onions are rich golden (like the color of light brown sugar), 35 to 40 minutes or more. (While you are cooking the onions, the flour will start to darken too and the onions will cook down considerably. That’s okay.)
  7. WHEN THE ONIONS ARE DONE, add the simmering stock and ½ cup of the
  8. wine. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and a pinch or two of extra sugar if desired. Simmer, partially covered with the lid set ajar, 40 minutes more. With a large spoon, skim off any foam that forms. Add the remaining ¼ cup wine and season the soup again with salt and pepper. (Soup can be prepared three days ahead. Cook to this stage, then cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)
  9. WHILE THE SOUP IS SIMMERING, prepare the baguette slices and the cheese
  10. topping. Arrange a rack at center position of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  11. BRUSH THE BAGUETTE SLICES generously on both sides with olive oil and
  12. arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slices are crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and cool. (Baguette slices can be prepared two days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.) Retain oven temperature.
  13. ARRANGE 6 OVENPROOF SOUP BOWLS or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet
  14. and fill them ¾ full with the hot soup. Divide the slivered cheese among the bowls. Float 2 to 3 baguette slices on top of each serving, and sprinkle generously with some grated cheese. Depending on the size of your bowls or ramekins, you may have some soup, cheese, or croutons left over.
  15. BAKE THE SOUPS until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned, 15
  16. minutes. Watch constantly. If desired, run under a hot broiler to brown more, 1 to 2 minutes.
Notes
SOUP NIGHT MENU
Oak Leaf and Apple Salad with Honey Cider Dressing
(PAGE 121)
Extra Easy Brown Butter Cake (PAGE 178) served with scoops of vanilla bean ice cream or a tart fruit sorbet

 

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