I was inspired to make French Onion Soup last night, using a recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I even went out and bought two soup crocks so that Whitney and I could dine in style.
The soup was surprisingly simple. Yes, you have to stick around to stir the onions so that they caramelise without burning too much, and the caramelisation takes a while. That, and cleaning the pot afterwards (well, I left for a couple minutes at a time to do other things) were the most time-consuming processes. And, even though I forgot to add the splash of balsamic vinegar at the end, and I didn't have red wine, the soup turned out so much better than what you get in most restaurants these days. I like French onion soup, but I'd stopped ordering it when dining out because it's invariably too salty.
This soup, with the crusty, toasted bread plonked on top and cheese melted over, made a perfect meal along with a light salad. Now, Whitney and I are thinking of other things we can use these soup crocks for. Chicken pot pie, anyone? Or how about a cobbler?
Custards/flans work in those pots, too.
The one time I got French onion soup in a restaurant was actually up at Cornell's student-run hotel years ago when my mom and I were college-hunting. It was horrendously salty, worse than sea water. (I hope they failed that student). I've avoided it ever since because the waitress told me it was supposed to taste like that!
Kea, would you like the recipe I used?
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