Thursday, November 17, 2011

SOUPE à l’OIGNON - Christine's Recipe from Jardin de Bacchus - Chambres d'hôtes

I'm so pleased to share with you this recipe for classic French Onion Soup or SOUPE à l’OIGNON created by Christine Chapot, proprietor and chef at Jardin de Bacchus - Chambres d'hôtes in Tavel, France.  Christine offers Gourmet French cooking classes at her lovely bed and breakfast.

MFFC's completion of Christine's SOUPE à l’OIGNON!  PERFECTLY delicious! 

SOUPE à l’OIGNON by Christine Chapot at Jardin de Bacchus - Chambres d'hôtes

4 persons

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter, for spreading les croutons
  2. 3 large onions halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise oignons doux des Cévennes sont les meilleurs pour ce plat !
  3. Sea salt such as  Fleur de sel de Camargue (ramassé à la main, le nom de la personne qui ramasse le sel est écrite sur le couvercle)
  4. 2 tablespoons Cognac
  5. 1 liter of flavory stock such as beef stock
  6. 1 bouquet garni, tied in cheesecloth
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
  8. Four 1/2-inch-thick slices bread, cut into 4-inch
  9. 200 g  shredded emmental cheese
Préparation :

1.  Melt the butter in a large cast-iron casserole. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring once or twice, until the onions soften, should take about 10 minutes.

Following Christine's recipe and Cooking 3 onions in butter.
2.  Uncover and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the onions get lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
3.  Stir in the Cognac. Add the stock and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the soup has a deep flavor, about 30 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni and season the soup with salt and pepper. Be soft with the salt the stock may be already salted !

MFFC's Boquet Garni!

4.  Preheat the oven to 180° C. Butter the bread on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Toast the bread for 15 minutes, turning the slices halfway through, until golden and crisp but not dried out. Raise the oven temperature to 220°C.
5.  Bring the soup to a simmer, Pour it into 4 deep ovenproof bowls and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Place some croutons in each bowl and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake the bowls of soup in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Serve hot.

    I shopped locally at Fort Worth's Central Market for my ingredients. I was able to find everything easily including the French salt Christine recommends, Fleur de sel de Camargue.

    I have a couple of helpful details for you when making this wonderful soup:

    1.   (1) liter equals 33 fluid ounces
    2.   200 grams equals 1.6 cups
    3.   180° C equals approximately 350° F
    4.   220°C equals approximately 425° F   

    And lastly, Bouquet Garni - I used 1 Bay leaf, thyme sprigs and parsley. At Central Market I purchased bouquet garni bags that have a draw string for ease of use!

    The end result was awesome! I actually fixed the soup in advance and then last night brought the soup back to a soft boil, added the toasted bread and cheese and baked it.  PERFECT!

    Au revoir, Mitty

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