Every year that I am able to cook beef around the holiday season, I get excited, not only because we get to enjoy some beef, but I know that I will have some leftover beef for simple sandwiches, or probably one of my favorite soups, the french onion soup. A few years back, I had family members come over after Christmas day to play games, and to eat some more. It seems that it how it goes with my extended family around any holiday, and I am perfectly content with extending the party over the course of several days. Board games, a continuous fire in the fire place, and lots of food and fun. It was then when I threw together a French onion soup that was to die for. This year, I decided to make the same soup using some leftover New York Strip roast that I had made for Christmas.
This soup is really satisfying, and I cannot just stop at one bowl.
Let’s get started.
- 5 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cracked black pepper
- 8 cups of beef stock
- 2 cups thinly sliced cooked beef
- 1/3 cup of sherry cooking wine
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 French loaf, cut into 2 inch rounds
- olive oil
- 1 whole garlic clove
- Gruyere cheese, or good Alpine-style cheese, shredded
- additional salt and pepper, to taste
Start by caramelizing your onions. If you have a mandolin, use it to thinly slice your onions. Heat a large skillet, and toss in the butter, cooking on medium heat. Add in all of the onions, and stir. About ten minutes into cooking, toss in the pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir, and cook until the onions caramelize, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat if you have to, to prevent burning.
Next get a soup pot on medium heat, and add in the stock, two cloves of minced garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in the caramelized onions, and give a good stir. Bring to a light boil, then add in the sherry cooking wine. Cook for about 30 minutes.
When you are ready to prepare the soup, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush some olive oil onto each side of the French bread slices. Depending on the size of your bowl, you can get away with one or two croutons. Cook the bread until golden, then remove from the oven, and rub a clove of garlic onto the top and bottom of each slice.
Ladle the soup into your French onion soup bowls. If you do not have them, don’t worry, as you can most likely use a microwave safe bowl as well, and substituting the oven for the microwave. Add the crouton to the bowl, and top with a generous amount of cheese. It’s all about the cheese, is it not? Place into the oven (or microwave), and cook until the cheese is nicely melted.
Remove, and dig in. Keep in mind this soup is going to be very hot. Now I have never been a fan of soggy bread, but whoa, in this soup it is just the best thing on Earth! Take a bit of the bread, and scoop down into the onions and beef, and trust me, you will get cheese in every bite. I ate this soup for three days straight, and I’m still thinking about it to this day. Oh yeah, have fun scraping every little bit of cheese from the spoon. That’s my favorite part!