Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Zuppa di Cipolle

This is a recipe for one of my favorite soups of all time. The rich combination of a good beef or veal stock with the sweetness of the onions is a masterpiece to behold. Then topping it with some good bread and cheese, just makes it the perfect soup to warm up with during these cold months. The trick to making the dish a success is to really kill the onions. A proper onion soup takes hours to make not minutes.

Serves 4

TT = to taste

4 1/2 - 5# of yellow onions
4T unsalted butter
1T AP Flour
1/2 gallon of dark beef or veal stock (preferably homemade)
4 sprigs of thyme
4-8 slices country bread
2 garlic cloves
TT salt
TT papper
8 slices of Comte cheese (substitute asiago, fontina, piave vecchio, gruyere, trugole) plus more if needed
TT red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil

peel onions and cut into julienne
in a 6 qt dutch oven on low heat add the butter and onions
saute covered stirring occasionally adding water if needed to keep onions from burning and cook until onions are very caramelized and are almost 1/6-1/8 there original volume. (4-7 hours)
once onions are very caramelized and ready
add flour and cook for 5 minutes
add stock, thyme & bay leaf
bring to simmer
cook until reduced by 1/3 and soup becomes thick
season with salt, pepper and vinegar
remove thyme and bay leaf an discard
ladle soup into large oven proof soup crocks about 2/3-3/4 full(around 20oz crocks)
grill bread until well marked or toast or broil until toasty
cut tips off the garlic cloves and rub the garlic cloves on the bread slices to infuse bread with the garlic flavor
drizzle bread with a little extra virgin olive oil
cut bread into cubes
place cubed bread on top of soup
top bread with the cheese
place crocks under the broiler and cook until cheese becomes nice and melted and crispy
remove from broiler and allow to cool slightly
serve immediately

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