It seems like it's been so long since I blogged, but I have been cooking, I promise! It seems like between work, my job with Folio Weekly as the Bite Club Host, half marathon training, and the continuous odd jobs of being a new homeowner, I haven't been home to cook, I haven't had the energy, or I just want simple meals. I've been making a few of my favorite dishes, like Fajita Pasta, Tofu Noodle Bowls, and Hawaiian Pizza. I have made, and photographed a few dishes, which I will hopefully get blogged soon! I have so many fun things bookmarked, and on my 'to make' list.
Last Sunday, I was having issues with my car, and I had planned on getting a new one for my birthday in May. I went to test drive some cars, just to see what I liked and what was out there... well, I hate car shopping, it's so stressful and long. I knew I wanted this car, and I didn't want to come back in 2 months and go through it all again, plus I didn't know if my current car was going to make it that long without major repairs, so I did it, I bought my first new car EVER! I am absolutely thrilled with the whole process and I love my Jetta, Frau!
So, after the long day of car shopping, I wanted comfort food. Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of soup. I went through the pantry to see what I had on hand since I hadn't been to the grocery store, and there wasn't much. I did, however, have a big bag of onions, a little gruyere in the fridge, and a few open bottles of wine from the previous night. So I decided to just go with what I had, and it worked perfectly! I didn't have any french bread, or yeast to make some, so I opted for a quick bread. Though it's not traditional, but in the spirit of March, I made Brown Soda Bread. This soup was fantastic! Tasted just like my Mom used to make! It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!
French Onion Soup with Irish Flair
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. butter
3 lbs. yellow onions (not sweet, just plain yellow onions)
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
2 cups red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
1 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
4 cups reduced sodium beef stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 loaf of Brown Soda Bread
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
Heat a dutch oven over medium-low heat.
Peel onions and divide in half.
Chop half the onions, and slice the other half (the diced thicken the soup more, and the slices give it more texture, but you can cut them however you'd like!).
Add to the pot, stir and cook until caramelized and water is evaporated, about 30 minutes.
Season with pepper, add brandy and wines, cook until reduced by half.
Add stock, thyme and bay leaf.
Turn to low, cover and simmer for an hour to four hours, stirring occasionally.
Taste the soup, add salt and more pepper, if necessary.
Turn broiler on high. Place 4 ramekins on a baking sheet.
Ladle soup into ramekins (about 2 cup capacity), remove thyme stems and bay leaf when you come across them.
Sprinkle with gruyere cheese, top with bread, and sprinkle with more cheese.
Place until the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and melted.