So for the past week or so, Europe has been in the deadly, icy grip of a Siberian frost coming from, you guessed it, Siberia. Spain, a complete stranger to winter, was of course completely unprepared and thrown into a tizzy. A TIZZY! Temperatures below freezing? A few snowflakes falling? You’d think the world was ending! Going to college in Massachusetts, however, had quite literally numbed me to cold. But ever since I packed up my bags to move to sunny Spain, I left my boots, parkas, wooly mittens, and all other proper winter atire at home. So let’s just say this little blonde has been shivering her way around Logroño in nothing but a leather jacket, wedge boots, jeggings, and as many scarves as she could find for the past week. Brrrrrr. So to warm myself up, I have been cooking as many hearty, hot, stick to your ribs means as I could find. One dish I have made several times is French onion soup. Who doesn’t love a good French onion soup? And since I have the convenience (or the bane of all my diet goals) of living next door to a gourmet cheese shop, I can find all the fancy cheese my little heart could ever desire. Especially to the Gruyère cheese usually called for in this recipe. So while I am tottering away in my kitchen, I like to imagine I am back in Gruyère, Switzerland, or cooking in a toasty lodge in the Alps.
What do you love to cook on a cold winter’s night to warm you up? Have you been suffering under this enormous euro-frost?
1/2 cup butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt, pepper, thyme
1 cup red wine
3 tbsp flour
8 cups of beef broth
chopped up baguette
A whole lot of grated Gruyère cheese
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Throw out the bay leaves. Add the flour to the onions and stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several slices of the baguette on top and top with cheese. Put the bowls into a hot oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Enjoy!