My quest for a perfect french onion soup has brought me through many restaurants, and many renditions, with the ever classic question that I always am embattled with raised again and again. Do I go for better flavor, or a classic recipe.
This time, the better flavor has won.
I ran across a recipe for French Red Onion Soup. It boasted the ability to give a new arrangement of flavors while keeping to the idea of what french onion soup is. But as the poor recent college graduate, I am missing the ability to instantly come up with certain ingredients. In my case, star anise.
Like my grandmother, cooking is not always based on measurements, but rather on guestimations and taste testing.
BE FOREWARNED. This recipe served 4, and we thought it would only be a first dish and bought sandwiches for after. The soup was filling enough.
Two large red onions, i cut them thick with one quick cut down the middle so they’re not full rings.
saute with olive oil and kosher salt.
In a separate pan, bring to boil a can of beef brother, a little sugar (about two teaspoons), some more kosher salt, ground black pepper, hint of nutmeg and about a 1/4 teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Add any other flavorings you may have to dance around that star anise slightly sweet flavor.
When you get the onions caramelized, through in about a cup and a half of red wine, i used a Yellow Tail Shiraz, but Bordeaux or Burgundy might work better. add the broth mixture and let sit on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes, mixing frequently.
As for the bread, I went to ShopRite and could not find a french baguette, so I found a olive oil and rosemary loaf that i thought would add an interesting mix to the pot. I cut the loaf in about 1 inch thick pieces and like the onions halved those, put two pieces in each of the four ovenproof bowls.
Now the fun part. The debate over cheese. manchego versus gruyere… I bought gruyere again because ShopRite didn’t have manchego so next time around i’ll try it, but i went with gruyere, with a thin slice of mozzarella under it.
So in your bowl, the bread, then add the onions and broth, then the cheese ontop. Pop that in under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and serve.
Not a classic French Onion, but with flavor and meatiness like this, you might not want to be so conservative with your French Onion soup again.