It’s raining; it’s pouring… and our ‘lil dog is snoring (and eating ornaments off the Christmas tree). Here’s a couple of garden shots from the RGB today:
Since we’re cooped up in the house today, we’re pulling out our 1977 printing of Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Pages 43-44 of our edition includes soupe à l’oignon. Since we’re rained in, and we have some leftover gruyère from last week’s omelet, today is a good day to have some of that soup.
Right now, this soup is reminding us of a rainy spring day in Paris…
The afternoon we set aside to tour La Tour Eiffel, it was pouring down rain, kind of like today. The picture above was taken after we chickened out of waiting in line to get to the top (we had forgotten our umbrellas and I was tired of getting drenched). Right after we snapped this photo, we decided that since we’d both been up before, we’d move onto another part of town. We decided to roam around looking for some cover while we figured it out. I was probably hungry too, but that’s besides the point.
Nearby, we ducked into a little café and had some French Onion Soup. Our intention was to hop over to Montmartre to see Sacré-Cœur, but right after our rainy pit stop, the clouds parted. All I had to do was give Barry the look, and he obliged. So, here’s a photo from that day, right after we came down from the tower:
When we get back to France, we’re gonna have to find the little bistro off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées that offered the best French Onion Soup we’ve ever tasted.
Photo from dinner on February 28, 2012.
Original photo from December 12, 2009.
Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée
First Served at the Rustic Garden Bistro for Christmas Eve Dinner
December 24, 2008
~ Serves ~
The onions for an onion soup need a long, slow cooking in butter and oil, then a long, slow simmering in stock for them to develop the deep, rich flavor which characterizes a perfect brew. You should therefore count on 2 ½ hours at least from start to finish. Though the preliminary cooking in butter requires some watching, the actual simmering can proceed almost unattended. – Mastering the Art of French Cooking
~ Ingredients ~
- 1 ½ lbs. or 5 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 quarts boiling brown stock
- ½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 to 16 slices toasted bread, cut to ¾”
- 2 oz. grated Swiss or parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. grated raw onion
- 1 ½ cups grated Swiss or Swiss and parmesan
- 1 tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
- 2 tbsp. cognac per bowl of soup
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.
Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine and season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.
Preheat oven to 325º F.
Bring the soup to a boil and pour into the tureen or soup pots. Stir in the slivered cheese and grated onion. Float the rounds of toast on top of the soup, and spread the grated cheese over it. Sprinkle with the oil or butter. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven, then set for a minute or two under a preheated broiler to brown the top lightly.
Serve each bowl of soup with side of 3 tbsp. cognac. Pour cognac into soup and set to flame.
Nutrition content per cup: 242 calories, 25g carbs, 8g protein, 12g fat, 2g fiber
Cost per full serving: $2.29
Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1977, pp. 43-44
Photo from dinner on February 28, 2012.
Bistro Eats is a collection of recipes we think could work in a bistro setting, i.e. the brick and mortar Rustic Garden Bistro. Click on this category to see a snippet of what the menu may look like.