French Chef Friday: French Onion Soup Update
There was something special when I came home and my dad made French Onion Soup. He saves stew bones and made beef stock from scratch and then sauteed down massive amounts of onions served them with melted cheese over a hearty piece of french bread. He doesn’t make this often, but it is special when he does. Since moving out, I’ve made french onion soup a handful of times. Every time I make it, I try to make it as special as Dad does. Even though, my current recipe for French Onion Soup is vegetarian I’ve found ways to make it special.
In the French Chef’s episode on French Onion Soup, Julia Child breaks down how simple it is to make, and how you can doctor up your broth if you made it from a can. She admits, the broth is better when you make it yourself, and luckily the Instant Pot will make quick work of this.
The first time I watched through this episode, I was struck by the fact that Julia takes the time to teach knife skills. She holds the blade of the knife with the thumb and pointer finger, wrapping the rest around the handle because this gives better control so you can chop faster and safer. While chopping onions for this soup, I tried it and it is honestly a game-changer.
Additionally, Julia talks about sharpening your knives. My knife block came with the style sharpener that Julia show but a sharpening rod will make cooking easier. A sharp knife is safer because the user does not need to use as much pressure and will have better control.
Best advice Julia gives:
The best advice that Julia gives about getting the onion and garlic smell off of your hands. Rinse your hands in cold water, scrub them with salt, then wash your hands with hot water and soap. If you rinse with hot water, it sets the smell in your hands.
When I’ve made this in the past I cooked the onions down, but I didn’t realize how much I should have been cooking down the onions. Leaving them in the crockpot on high for a long period of time caramelizes the onions. Be patient and stir it every so often. When cooking it in the crockpot, you want the steam to escape.
Season everything to taste. If you don’t like brandy, use bourbon. If you don’t like garlic, leave it out. I use Vegan Worcestershire sauce to help add layers to the vegetable stock. The best tastes are the ones you enjoy. I do like how Cognac tastes, but I don’t usually have it in my house, so I used bourbon.
French Onion Soup – Vegetarian Crockpot Update
- 4-5 Medium Onions thin sliced
- 2 Quarts of Instant Pot Vegetable Stock
- 3 tablespoons Cognac
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1 cup of White Wine
- 3 TBS Flour
- 2 TBS Butter
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- Seasoning to Taste
- 1 TBS Vegan Worcestershire
- Parmesan Cheese 4 ounces
- Swiss Cheese Grated, about 12 ounces
- Set your crock-pot to high.
- Thinly slice onions and put them into the crockpot with 1 cup of white wine and season with salt, pepper, and bay leaf.
- Place the lid of the crockpot slightly off-center so steam can release. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Onions should cook down completely without burning.
- About 30 minutes before serving, combine Butter, cooking oil and flour and make a roux. Once the flour is a light caramel color, add stock to lightly thicken and warm. Season to taste.
- Turn oven to broil.
- Split onions between bowls, top with stock. Float cognac on top of stock. Top with a slice of french bread and cover in cheese.
- Melt cheese under the broiler for up to 2 minutes, or until cheese is melting and just starting to brown.
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