All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Monday, January 10, 2011

simple onion soup with thyme, black pepper, and smoked gouda

When I noticed the sprouting onion in the onion basket this morning, I happily stirred up a batch of Craig Claibourne-inspired quick onion soup ( and no, I didn't use the sprouting onion, which can often be bitter). When Craig had been placed on a low-fat diet toward the end of his life, he published a recipe for a quick, lemony onion soup that instantly became a favorite of mine. I lost the recipe, but managed to make a similar soup that is perfect for these snowy, cold days. While I do use a little butter, it's in moderation, as is the melty cheese&crouton topping. Please note that the onions are cooked in two batches - one is sauteed until very soft, the other batch is added toward the end of the soup making, which is more al dente; a nice combination.

Makes about 3 servings
4 medium-large onions, peeled and sliced
2 T. unsalted butter
4 cups beef stock
1/4 t. coarsely ground pepper
1 t. dried thyme
pinch or two of kosher salt
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
Melt the butter in a skillet, then add HALF the onions to the butter, and stir well. Saute for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden.
Heat the four cups of beef stock in a saucepan and add the sauteed onions to the hot stock. Deglaze the onion skillet with a tablespoon or two of the stock, then add to the saucepan as well.
Add the pepper, thyme and salt to the stock and onions and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and the rest of the onions to the stock. Simmer another 20 minutes, then ladle into heat-proof bowls. Top each bowl with toasted croutons and a tablespoon or two of the cheeses. Place under a broiler until the cheese melts and serve immediately.
for the croutons:
1 T. olive oil
about a cup of bread cubes, cut in 1/2 " squares
Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and toss in the bread cubes. Saute and stir until bread cubes are crunchy and browned.
For the cheese topping:
4 T. grated mozzarella
2 T. grated smoked gouda
Enjoy your day!


France said...

So perfect. I love french onion soup. I am french which may be why, but I love that it's simple and low in fat and I bought a block of gouda today even though I had no idea why I was buying it. Your recipe is very timely!

The Food Hound said...

I LOVE onion soup!! I just posted a recipe in December for my French Onion Soup that uses the oven for the first step of caramelization-- takes away the constant stirring!! Smoked Gouda... mmmm, makes anything tasty :)

katrina said...

France - I'm delighted to meet you and your blog, and happy you approve of the simple version of French Onion soup. Thanks for taking a look!

katrina said...

Wow, Food Hound - I definitely have to try your oven-roasted onions! Thanks for letting me know about it!

kelly said...

Mmm...I was going to add onion soup to our Christmas dinner menu, then thought again. This is twice in the last half hour I've read someone mention Craig, and I've not heard of him before. I'm sure I'm advertising my ignorance, so I'll have to research. This version of a soup I love sounds wonderful.

katrina said...

I'm amazed, Kelly. Craig was the editor of the New York Times cookbooks for ages, plus wrote extensively for years. He also ( via a tiny paperback I bought in the 80's called The Herb and Spice cookbook) exposed the general cooking public to herbs and spices long before it became trendy. He also had a Southern background, so he was familiar with Southern dishes. We cooks owe him much gratitude.