French onion soup for your après ski
How to prepare a warming soup to satisfy those post-ski hunger pangs
Imagine you've spent most of your day schussing down a hill, and you're heading back to the chalet tired and hungry. What après ski meal will hit the spot as you warm up by the fire?
French onion soup, according to chef Anna March. The chef will be leading a cooking class at the Urban Element in Hintonburg on Jan. 16 and 17 with a menu geared toward satisfying those post-ski hunger pangs, featuring this hearty soup.
March told CBC Radio's All In A Day Wednesday that she learned how to prepare French onion soup from scratch in high school, where the students made their own stock and baked their own bread.
She added she was inspired by the passionate teacher who taught that class and who influenced her to pursue cooking as a career.
Real stock is the key to this recipe. If you don't want to make your own, you can get good stock from some local butcher shops or markets.
- 6 medium sized yellow onions, sliced thinly and evenly.
- 1/4 cup of butter.
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
- 5 branches of fresh thyme, with leaves picked from the stem.
- 1 cup of double smoked bacon, cut into thin slices.
- 1 bay leaf, ideally fresh.
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 tall can of dark beer.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups of beef stock.
- 1 baguette, cut on a bias into 1/2 inch thick slabs.
- 2 tbsp mashed roasted garlic.
- 2 cups of grated Gruyère cheese.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the butter and oil and add the sliced onions.
- Stir regularly and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to re-incorporate the caramel the onions make on the bottom of the pan as they cook.
- When the onions are almost fully caramelized (light golden colour), add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon pieces. Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the bacon is crisp and the onions are a deep caramel colour.
- Add in the beer and stock and bring to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Spread a small amount of roasted garlic onto each piece of baguette. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top each bowl with a baguette "lid." Top with a generous amount of grated gruyere and place under a pre-heated broiler until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.