French Onion Soup: cures what ails ya

Here is what you do when feeling stupidly melancholy about the boyfriend leaving for a measly six weeks: make French Onion Soup! 

I’ve had a stash of this soup in the freezer since I first stumbled across the recipe on The Pioneer Woman. Trust me. It’ll change your life. It’s easy-peasy, it’s cheap as all get out, and it freezes and thaws quite wonderfully. 

French Onion Soup, via The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 whole Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
  • 1 cup (generous) Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
  • 5 ounces, weight (to 7 Ounces) Gruyere Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.
When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

So tonight, even though my house is a tad less inhabited than I’d prefer, everything smells delicious, all of that onion chopping gave me a good excuse for the totally unnecessary sniffles whose existence I’ll be adamantly denying tomorrow, and since the recipe called for a glass of wine, I’m absolutely justified in opening that bottle. 

Life is good. Even if it is a little sniffly right now. 

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House-guest Brunch: Sausage Skillet Scramble

In slight departure from my usual Sunday Supper recipe,
today we are cooking brunch. Enjoy! food collage

My boyfriend is here, on a short break from law school. And while he proclaims himself perfectly happy with leftovers of the pot-roast last night for breakfast (and would be more likely to pitch in and help than complain, if he weren’t) sometimes breakfast should just be a little fancier than warmed-over pot-roast. Enter House-guest Brunch: it goes together in a few minutes and you’ll be back to your guests in just a few minutes.

Here’s what you need:

  1. 2-3 eggs per person
  2. 1/3 lb ground sausage 
  3. 1/2 onion, chopped into small pieces
  4. 1 small potato per person
  5. 1/4 cup of chopped bell pepper or roasted sweet bell pepper strips (I’m using the latter, since it’s in my fridge
  6. 1/4 cup cheese: I’m using parmesan, but shredded cheddar, chunked feta or even strips of Swiss would work.
  7. salt, pepper, dill…whatever your favorite spices are.

Here’s what you do:

  • Scrub potatoes, pierce skins, microwave them for about 5 minutes each
  • While the potatoes are baking, cook ground sausage and chopped onion over medium-high heat in large-ish skillet, till sausage is no longer pink.

sausage.onion.1

  • Add chopped bell pepper or roasted sweet bell pepper strips to skillet
  • When the potatoes are done, chop into 1 inch squares and add potatoes to the skillet.

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  • Lightly beat eggs in another bowl and slowly pour into skillet
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of skillet, add whatever spices you’d like to use
  • Brunch is done when the eggs have set.

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(I had a few scraps of bacon in the fridge, so I threw them in at the last minute.)

Spoon the skillet scramble into large bowls, grab the coffee mugs and rejoin the party. 10.23.11 013

And voila! Breakfast, brunch or whatever you’re calling it, is served!