Rainy day French onion soup

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What are you up to this weekend? We’re headed to Amsterdam on Sunday and I’m so excited to see the land of tulips!

When I looked up the weekend weather here in Geneva and then in Amsterdam, there were little rain clouds over both cities. But what can you do? April showers, indeed.

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Considering I grew up in a place with little to no rainfall, I still find the rain pretty magical. I try to take advantage of being “stuck” inside by cooking some more labor-intensive recipes that I usually don’t get around to–like this classic French onion soup (Julia Child’s recipemais oui!).

It always reminds me of my maternal, Southern grandmother who could never pass up French onion soup on a menu–no matter what the weather. This recipe is earthy, warm and makes your home smell incredible! Deconstructing it with your spoon is half the fun.

Cut right down the middle...

Cut right down the middle…

...pull the outermost layer back to create a "handle"...

…pull the outermost layer back to create a “handle”…

...hold on and get chopping!

…hold on and get chopping!

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I miss my Le Creuset Dutch oven that still lives in my storage unit in DC!

Almost there...

Almost there…

Into the pot...

Into the pot…

...under the broiler...

…under the broiler…

Julia Child’s Classic French Onion Soup

  • 5 cups yellow onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Slices of baguette
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cogniac (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup of grated Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Heat a heavy, oven-safe, stock pot over medium-low heat and add the cooking oil once the pot is hot. Melt the butter into the hot oil.  Stir the sliced onions into the oil/butter mix, ensuring they are evenly coated. Cover the stock pot and cook for around 20 minutes checking to make sure they aren’t burning. Onions should be clear and very tender once finished. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and add the sugar and 1tsp salt. Continue stirring until onions are caramelized.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in flour. Cook 2-3 minutes until flour forms a thick paste (add more butter if needed).  Stir in 1 cup of beef stock, and stir heavily for a couple seconds.

Add the rest of the stock, wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Drizzle both sides of french bread slices with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Cook the bread in the oven for 15 minutes on each side.

Taste soup, and add salt and pepper as needed, then remove the bay leaf.

Add cognac. Add a little bit of the swiss cheese to the soup, preserving most of it for the top. Cover the soup mixture with the bread, forming a single layer bread top. Sprinkle the rest of the Swiss cheese over the top of the bread, forming a thick layer. Drizzle melted butter or oil over the cheese, and place the pot into the oven uncovered. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Turn the broiler on and brown the cheese.

...and voila!

…and voila!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, in sunshine or rain. A bientôt! 

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