It was our last night in Paris. The night sky was fading as we wandered into an old bistro in the lst Arrondissment. This is the area where the citizens of the old market place of Les Halles worked 24 hours a day distributing food to every corner of Paris. And, this is where we ended our Paris adventure with bowls of restorative onion soup, crowned with bread encrusted with gruyere cheese.
I came away from a tiny bistro with a new recipe for onion soup. Onion soup made with rich chicken stock. This is the way I have made onion soup ever since
The secret to a great onion soup is slowing cooking your onions.
Serve with a crisp, citrusy whites; Sancerre, Pouilly Fume
|FRENCH ONION SOUP LES HALLES INSPIRED|| || |
- 4 TBS BUTTER
- 6 TO 7 ONIONS THINLY SLICED
- 8 CUPS OF REALLY GOOD HOME MADE CHICKEN STOCK
- 1 CUP (250 G) GRATED EMMENTALER, GRUYERE OR COMTE CHEESE
- 4 LARGE SLICES TOASTED BAGUETTE
- SALT AND LOTS OF FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, TO TASTE
- A SHOT OF SHERRY (OPTIONAL) ... or pour yourself a glass while the onions cook.
- Melt butter in a large casserole, add onions, sprinkle them with a little salt, and cook covered over low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while.
- Meanwhile, heat the stock, grate the cheese, toast the bread, and get the bowls ready.
- Once the onions are translucent and slightly caramelized, add the stock, and allow to cook covered for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
- Optionally, add a shot of sherry before serving.
- Stir the soup, and ladle into the four bowls. Place toast on top of each bowl, and cover generously with cheese. You may find you want more cheese than the recipe calls for.
- Place on a baking dish under the broiler until the cheese melts, bubbles, and is golden. Remove from oven, place bowl on a small place, and serve immediately.