Tuesday, February 26, 2013

French Onion Soup (Pub Classics)

     This past weekend, we had a soup/chili benefit at church and, since we'd taken a somewhat non-traditional chili, we wanted to take a soup option that was a bit more 'normal'.  French onion soup has long been one of my wife's and my favorites, but we'd never really nailed down a recipe.  This weekend seemed to be a perfect opportunity to do so, and this is what we came up with.  I don't think we'll look for another recipe after trying this one, as it turned out really well!

       -4 extra-large white onions, thinly sliced
       -1 stick butter
       -2 teaspoons crushed garlic
       -2 tablespoons brown sugar
       -1/4 teaspoon dried, ground thyme (can also use regular dried thyme, just use a bit more)
       -1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Essence spice blend
       -1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
       -7 cups beef stock
       -4 oz. good-quality, malty English ale
       -HyVee seasoned croutons, to serve
       -Shredded Italian-style cheese, to serve

       Chop butter into pieces and melt slowly in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat.  Throw in the onions, and toss thoroughly to coat, stirring continually, for about 10 minutes.  Add brown sugar, stir thoroughly to mix, and continue stirring pretty much constantly for 30 minutes or so on medium to medium-high heat, until the onions begin to nicely caramelize.  At that point, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat.  Add the ale to deglaze, and stir thoroughly to combine, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Remove to a Crock Pot and add the remaining ingredients, except the croutons and the cheese.  Cook for 2-4 hours in the Crock Pot until seasoned through.  Ladle into bowls, add croutons and cheese, and serve.  This is rich, satisfying, and nicely spiced.  You can play with the spice levels (especially the Worcestershire and Emeril's) as you see fit.  Enjoy!   

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