17 Oct French Onion and Mushroom soup (a la Julia child)

I’m a member of the Tempe CSA and we have been getting a LOT of onions lately, especially red onions.
(What’s a CSA? http://www.localharvest.org/csa/) #TempeCSA

Normally I use them for to make a delicious Italian meat sauce (with italian pork sausage and carnets!) and breakfast skillets, but I just had so many of them that I wanted to do something more creative and adventurous than my standard (albeit delectable) fare.

Of course I started with my favorite chef of classic French cuisine – Julia Child. I modified her recipe to include all red onions instead of yellow, and I added pan-friend mushrooms to the mix near the end. The result was SO delicious, we ate the WHOLE POT IN ONE DAY!

French onion and mushroom soup

French onion and mushroom soup w/o toppings

4 Tb butter
4 large red onions (apx 1 1/2 lbs)
8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used Moneray and baby bella mix)
1 tsp iodized sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tb flour (all-purposed, unbleached)
2 quarts hot beef bullion (I used Swanson, but homemade is better)
1 cup dry chardonnay
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sage
salt & pepper to taste
Slice the onions into rings – mine were about 1/3″ thick.
In a 4-quart heavy saucepan, melt 3 Tb of the butter and add the onions, stirring to coat evenly. Cover and cook over low heat 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent.

Then, uncover the pan and turn up the heat to moderate or moderately high and when the onions start to sizzle again, add the salt and sugar. (Julia says the sugar, when it caramelizes, helps the onions to brown). Cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are deep brown in color.

Lower the heat to a moderate temperature and add the flour, turning it well so that it forms a paste with the onions. (Julia recommended adding some more butter if needed but I didn’t find that necessary at all). Cook for about 2 minutes to allow the flour to brown a bit. Remove from heat.

Using a wire whisk, blend in about a cup of the bouillon until well-blended. Then continue to add in the remaining bouillon. Return the pot to the heat and add the wine, sage, and bay leaf, bringing it to a simmer. Allow to simmer lightly for 20 minutes.

While it’s simmering, on a separate saucepan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and then add the mushrooms. Saute over medium flame until they have reduced and are browned. Then add them to the simmering soup.

Simmer the soup an additional 20-30 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point the soup itself is finished!

You can serve it with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and french bread on the side for dipping (the fast and dirty way like I did). Alternatively, you can put it ins individual baking bowls with a toasted French bread slice topped with swiss and/or parmesan cheese, as shown below. ??Just place the toasted baguette on top in the center of the soup and cover with swiss and/or parmesan cheese and bake in a 375 deg oven for 10-15 minutes. ?? Enjoy!

French Onion & Mushroom soup topped with crouton and cheese

French Onion & Mushroom soup topped with crouton and cheese

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