Soupe l'oignon au gratin flambé (Baked and flamed French Onion Soup)

There is the gender distinction of the feminine Soupe from the common accents found upon the 'a' (à) and 'e' (gratiné), and the abbreviated determiner (l'). And then, my favorite, the word oignon itself, which gave a new use for my polyglot tongue of exaggerated French accents. Impressive, yes; delicious, you have no idea. I had fun with this robust plat principal. Merci. Bon Apetité


Bouqute garné:
2 bay leaf
2 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs

5 Yellow onions, sliced and separated
1 (+,-) sticks unsalted butter
2 cups white wine
8 cups canned Vegetable stock, consumé (from home canned consumés and stocks)
1 cup apple cider
6-8 slices from a day old baguette (or you can toast the slices as well)
6-8 slices Gruyere cheese
1 T Sea salt and ground white pepper as soup simmers

2 oz. cognac

Garlic butter whipped and piped into 1oz stars at the edge of the serving charger for each receipient. Heat the cognac and light; pour over each bowl and serve on the chargers.

Structured Guidence

1. Spread a generous layer of butter on each slice (you will need about much butter), then lay the slices close together on a baking sheet, decorate with sprigs of the herbs used in this dish. Toast the baguette slices and let them cool. Place on the side until completing soup.

2. In a large pot, greater than 5 quarts, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat to sauteé onions. use more butter if needed. Suateé onions and salt until all onions are carmelized, about 15 to 20 minutes med-high heat. Watch carefully not to burn. In the same pot with carmelized onions add all of the liquids and heat to boil, then simmer.

3. Make a bouquet garné of all of the herbs (fresh) and hang in pot while it boils. About a 40 minutes boil-simmer will set the flavor of the bouquet garné and mix the carmelized onions with the rest of the liquids. Remove garné before starting with soup bowls.

4. In 5-1 quart bowls, fill about 4/5ths full of the soup liquids; add the broiled bread rounds and place the Gruyere cheese upon the bread floats on top of the sea of onions.

Set broil to high and place soup bowls under heat at middle rack.

5. Put the quart soup bowls in the broiler, checking to keep the bread and cheese from burning; melt the cheese and warm the buttered rounds.

To serve, treat like a flambé-- serve soup flaming and in dim light. Place buttered baguette rounds on a platter; garlic butter on individual chargers and bowls on the chargers as the flambé begins to extinguish. A 2007 Black Swan Cabernet, a 2004 Fish Eye, or 2004/2005 Oregon made Pinot Noir will suppliment this dish for those cold winter days in February.

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Comment by Tony Pinto on August 30, 2010 at 4:10pm
Great recipes, Michael. Thanks for sharing.

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