French Onion Soup

This soup is a winter staple in the Bubbly Kitchen. It is the perfect companion for a lunch time sandwich. It is also an ideal first course for dinner. It’s not heavy but the flavors are powerful. This intense flavor comes from your patience. You have to let the onions do their thing, don’t bother them too much. This recipe is really quite easy, but you have to devote time to developing these flavors. You should definitely get this soup started before you start baking a batch of holiday cookies. it requires very little attention and the leftovers freeze beautifully. I usually make twice the amount of caramelized onions. I store half and use them for other recipes, such as pizza, eggs en cocotte, or hamburgers. I often eat this soup by itself. But you could put a slice of crusty baguette and some shredded gruyere cheese on top of your bowl of soup and broil it. What to do with the bacon you cooked but don’t need? I hope you don’t need guidance on what to do with extra bacon, but you could put it on your sandwich or in the salad that you are eating with this soup. When you serve this as your soup course for a holiday dinner party you should open up a bottle of HALL Napa Valley Merlot 2009. This is definitely a full bodied merlot, made for cab lovers. The hint of smoke and rich berry flavors will leave you wanting more.

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French Onion Soup
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
4 slices bacon
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock (I like this one)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it is crispy and has rendered its fat. Reduce heat to low and add in the butter. Add the sliced onions, toss to coat them in oil. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and leave them alone for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid, raise the heat just slightly and mix in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, every 5 minutes I would say. Cook them for 45-50 minutes or until they have turned a deep golden brown. Make sure the heat is on low so you do not burn the onions while you are preparing other things.

When the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour. Stirring constantly, cook for 3 minutes. Add the wine, then add the stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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