Tuesday, January 10, 2017

French onion soup au gratin (vegan option)

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    I usually don't publish traditional recipes because I think there's enough Chef recipes online but from time to time I like to stick to the basics such as I did for the Spanish traditional Gazpacho last summer or with French onion soup. I wanted to share this comfort dish I used to enjoy as a child in Winter or around Christmas holidays. Onion soup with bread croutons is just delicious.

   This is the greedy version I propose to you today, with bread and cheese, grilled in the oven, you really have to try this version. If you don't like cheese, don't worry, just skip it, it will still be very good. And if you dairy intolerant or vegan, you can use plant-based grated cheese or skip it too.

   The French onion soup is very simple to prepare, it just requires to be patient and rigorous on the onion cooking and then, you have a light but savory soup with tender and melting onions, just what you need after a very cold Winter day. 

French onion soup au gratin

Prep time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 45 minutes
Serving : 3 to 5 people

- 40 g / 1,41 oz butter (or plant-based margarine)
- 650 g / 22,92 oz yellow onions (3 to 4 depending on the size)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 50 ml  / 1,70 fl. oz / 1/5 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 to 1,25 L / 33,8 to 42,3 fl. oz / 4 cups to 4,5 cups vegetable broth
- a few bay leaves, fresh thyme 
- a few bread pieces or slices
- grated Swiss cheese (or plant-based version)

  • In a stewpot or a large saucepan, melt the butter/margarine. Peel and chop the onions and garlic, and pour them in, brown them for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat with a lid. 

  • Be careful, onions must be lighted brown but not burnt or they would bring some bitterness to the soup. Watch the cooking and stir regularly. If you're not using a non-stick pan, you may want to add some water to help cook the onions.

  • When, the onions have reached a nice light brown color, stir in the starch and white wine.

  • Add 1 L (33,8 fl. oz or 4 cups) vegetable broth, bay leaves and thyme and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer on low/medium heat for about 15 minutes.

  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme. If you think there's not enough broth left, add some to your liking. I added 250 ml / 1 cup but it'll be as you prefer your soup.

  • For a French onion soup au gratin, use must use ovenproof containers : put a slice or pieces of bread in the bottom, add grated cheese, cover with some soup, add another slice or pieces of bread and cheese again (the bread helps the cheese to stay afloat or it would sink). Place the containers under the grill or bake for about 10 minutes at 150°C / 302°F or more until the cheese is browned.

  • If you don't have ovenproof containers, don't worry : just bake slices of bread covered with grated cheese on a baking tray covered with baking sheet just like above. Meanwhile, heat the soup, then you can serve it with the baked bread / cheese slices, the soup must be enjoyed hot!

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