In my last post I talked about French Onion Soup and gave my recipe for the soup broth. Today I’m going to talk about what to do with that broth once you’ve made a boatload of it.
Of course you want to eat it. It’s delicious. Grab a bowl and a spoon and go crazy.
…Unless you want to do it right. That’s going to take a little bit more prep work.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- Something bread-like. I like a loaf of french bread or a french baguette. I’ve also seen it done up with garlicky croutons if you’ve got those laying around.
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- Good cheese (I use a sharp Provolone).
I’ve seen Mozzarella cheese used instead of the Provolone. But for my money I would always go with the Provolone. If you can find some that’s sharp and aged a year or more, even better.
So here’s how you prepare a great bowl of soup:
- Slice your bread into inch-thick slices (more or less to your liking). Get them toasted. You can do it in a toaster oven, you can do it with a big torch. I like to do it under the broiler. Keep in mind that un-toasted bread will soak up a lot of the broth and you’ll be left with really tasty bread mush. Toast it up good.
- Peel your garlic and chop off the end. Rub the toasted side of every piece of bread with the garlic to coat it with a fresh garlic flavor.
- Pour soup into oven-safe bowls. Float a piece of the bread on each (more if they’re small pieces). Cover each with a big slice or two of cheese.
- Put the bowls of soup on the cookie sheet, back in the over under the broiler.
- Once the cheese melts and gets a little bubbly, you’re done. Take it out, let it cool, open face, insert soup.
- Since you did a lot of work, somebody else can do the dishes. That melted cheese can be a real pain to scratch off.
If you’ve got a pressure canner, you can can put the soup into jars, can them, and they will be shelf stable for quite a while. Since the soup base is, effectively, beef broth with some flavorings, you can follow canning instructions for other broths. I don’t currently have a pressure canner (xmas gift hint!), but I would love to be able to put up a few quarts of this soup for a rainy day. At least 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes should be more than enough to heat the soup through.
Keep in mind that the onions have already been cooked to hell and back. You don’t need to worry about them getting soggy or overcooked, because they’re already soggy and overcooked. When in doubt, throw another few minutes on the timer. You really can’t cook it too much at this point.
If you don’t have a canner, this broth will keep very well in the freezer or the fridge. I’ve got a few big glass containers with air-tight lids I use for exactly this purpose, but most plastic storage containers should work just fine.