It’s way too easy to get caught up in a project and forget why you ever started it in the first place.
You start a blog about cooking because you really like to cook. Then you become some weirdo who risks eating lukewarm pasta because you just really, really want to shoot a good pic for your website. You start being a little crazy about numbers, checking your site’s analytics 5 times a day to see how many hits you’ve gotten. You set up an adsense account, make 2 bucks, and think you’re going to take over the world. You make a really delicious onion soup and you almost don’t share it with your readers because you haven’t reinvented the wheel.
Like I said, it’s easy to get lost. Also, it’s easy to get crazy.
I don’t want to be nuts though. I just want something good for dinner and I want to share it with you. Sometimes I make stuff up. Sometimes I’m revolutionary (uh…), other times classics are where it’s at.
Tonight, it’s all about a classic: French Onion Soup. You know it, you love it. How couldn’t you? It’s covered in melty Gruyere. Caramelized onions. Cognac! Soul-warming broth. It’s a bowl of hugs, afghans, mommies, fuzzy slippers, good memories. Nothing new, but nothing you’ll ever tire of.
Main ingredient…you guessed it. Onions. Lots and lots of onion. You will cry.
Stir in cognac, thyme, and black pepper. Add beef stock and simmer until flavors unite.
Transfer the onion soup to a couple of ovenproof bowls, top with slices of toasted baguette, and copious amounts of grated Gruyere. Pop them under the broiler for a minute or 2 until you’re looking at a bubbling, melty bowl of goodness.
French Onion Soup. Classics become classic for a reason, cooks turn into bloggers for a reason: good food, new or old, is best shared.
- 4 lg. Yellow Onions, thinly sliced (about 8 c.)
- 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) Butter
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ¼ c. Cognac or Brandy
- 3 sprigs Thyme
- Black Pepper
- 6 c. Warm Beef Stock, preferably homemade- see notes
- 1 c. Aged Gruyere, grated
- 12 slices Baguette, toasted
- Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and salt. Slowly caramelize, stirring occasionally, until dark and sweet, 1-1½ hours.
- Add Cognac and scrape up any onion bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add thyme, a generous amount of black pepper, and warm beef stock. Bring to almost boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the flavors have melded. Remove thyme stem and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- Ladle soup into 4 ovenproof bowls set on a baking sheet. Top each bowl with 3 slices of toasted baguette and ¼ c. of cheese. Place under broiler for 2-4 minutes, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and the bread is golden around the edges.