The Joy Found in Simplicity

I know, I know. Its been ages since I updated this page. I have never claimed to not be a lazy blogger. I write on here when I feel like it, and I can put my thoughts into a cohesive post. As such, I will have many half written, unposted, writings. Some may get finished, but most won’t. That said lets get to the topic at hand.

Some of the most satisfying dishes on the planet, also happen to be some of the simplest. Whether we are talking about roast chicken, pot roast, or a pot of soup, simplicity can be very soul satisfying. Fall temps are starting to take hold in parts of the country. Cool weather won’t too far behind around here. With the cooler temps, nothing may be more satisfying than a nice pot of soup. For a simple and tasty soup, its hard to beat a rich bowl of onion soup. I kindly offer up my recipe for a classic onion soup:

French By Way of Britain Onion Soup

2 tbl Butter
2 tbl olive oil
7 medium yellow onions
1.5 cups Stout or Porter beer*
1.5 cups beef stock
2 cups water
1 tbl sherry vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Toasted croutons(optional)
Gruyere cheese, shredded(optional)

Start off by cutting the onions in half. Cut the onions into thin slices. Place the sliced onions into bowl large enough to hold them. Season the onions with about two teaspoons of salt. Mix well. In a large pot, an enameled cast iron dutch oven works best, heat the butter and oil over a medium high heat. Add the onions. Once the onions start cooking they will release a fair bit of water. Cook over medium high heat until the the water has evaporated and the onions just start to take on color. Reduce the heat and caramelize the onions. The lower the heat the better. I prefer to crank the stove down low and slowly caramelize the onions over several hours. You can boost the heat up if you want to shorten the cook time. Once the onions are caramelized, add the beer, beef stock, and water. Bring the soup to a simmer. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed. Simmer the soup for thirty minutes. Add the sherry vinegar, and check the seasoning one last time. The soup is now ready to serve, and it’s good as is.

For a classic presentation, portion out the soup into oven safe bowls. Top the soup with croutons and shredded Gruyere cheese. Place the bowls on a sheet pan underneath the broiler. Cook the cheese until bubbling and golden. Remove from the oven and serve.

* For the beer I would opt against a lighter stout, or coffee/chocolate infused beer. So its best to avoid Irish style stouts. I would also avoid coffee stouts/porters. My personal choice would be a nice oatmeal stout, such as Breckenridge, or Samuel Smiths. Any full flavored stout or porter will work great though.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Friday, October 7, 2011.

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