Here’s one of those simple joys of life. Really easy on the pocket, perfect to make on a Sunday when you’ve a bit of time and the result, great enough to get rave reviews from everyone. I love that this gratinee can be a part of a meal or the star of the meal.
It all begins with a ton of onions sliced very very thin with your best knife. Sauteed in butter and oil for close to an hour – in stages. First softened, then slowly cooked to a beautiful dark golden brown ‘mush’.
Julia Child’s addition of white wine and cognac is superb to get those complex palimpsest of flavors we crave in this classic. I have deviated from her recipe in that she calls for the thick slices of baguette to be toasted for 30 minutes before layered on the soup with gruyere cheese.
And I think we’d need to do that is we were using fresh baguette which would simply absorb a ton of soup and sink. However, the problem is solved by using a time-saver tip of using 1-2 day old stale baguette. Since so much of moisture has dried out of the baguette, it has the structural strength to float atop the soup with sinking thus saving us an additional 30 minutes.
Mind you, this isn’t one of those in-a-jiffy soups but the effort is so well worth it that when you finally huddle with a bowl of this lovely out of the broiler, with that lovely cheese-bread island floating on the soup, you’ll find the result completely rewarding.
If you’ve never thought of including this in your culinary repertoire, a remedy is in order.
Think of me when you take your first bite, won’t you?!