I got up at started cooking at seven a.m. for a twelve o'clock Nerd Sunday. I made the beef stock from scratch, then 3.5 hours later got the soup going. It came out quite nicely and was much better than what my wife and I ate near the Eiffel Tour at a tourist trap last summer. I had even prepared a strawberry-orange sherbet for dessert. Nerd Sunday looked to be off to a great start until the game started, however.
There was a bit of nerd on nerd violence that was unexpected. The whole situation was rather unfortunate. Apologies were given and received, so the whole matter has been put to rest and the troupe is moving on as if nothing ever happened. At the very least, I can take a wonderful soup from it.
French Onion Soup
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp. sugar, plus 1-2 tablespoons more
1 tbsp. flour
4 cups beef stock
1 cups dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. gruyère, shredded
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes.
2. Increase heat to medium-high, uncover, and add the sugar. Sauté, stirring often until onions are very soft and a deep golden brown.
3. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add about 1-2 cups of stock and stir to blend, then add remaining stock and the wine. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt, pepper and up to 2 tablespoons of sugar to reach desired flavor.
4. Meanwhile, turn on the broiler. Slice the bread into thick slices, one for each ramekin or other heat proof bowl. Butter both sides of the bread with the remaining butter, then toast until golden brown on both sides in the oven.
5. Place a slice of toast in each of the ramekins (or other ovenproof bowls), then fill with the onion soup. Spread a thick layer of cheese on top of soup. Set bowls on a 2 baking sheet, place in the broiler and cook until cheese has browned.
As with so many French soups, this one takes a long time to prepare. The effort is certainly worth it!