...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

SoUp of ThE WeeK***

....after weeks & months of being gone soup of the week is back, so with no further ado

this is done my way. after eating some french onion soup I thought to myself that there are a few things i really don't like about french onion soup so i set out to change it. I will tell you how to make it the old fashioned & traditional way and then I will give you my additions....either way, it will be lip smacking good, i have no doubt.....READY?!?!?!

In your soup pot:
4 T olive oil 
5 yellow onions, julienne
(if you see a sign that says sweet or videlia onions, get those, for this the sweeter the better)
  keep your flame at medium
when the onions start to turn from white to a more clear color
add 2 T salt & 2 T sugar
(for the sugar I use just plain white sugar, but you can use brown or even agave nectar if you are trying to avoid the sugar all together, you could even use honey if you so desire)
this will take a while but you want to sweat out the onions 
and start to caramelize them
stir the onions every couple of minutes
the salt will help to release the natural sugars of the onions
and the sugar will aid in the caramelizing.
3 T minced garlic
When the onions are clear-ish and a rich brown color,
but BEFORE they burn
deglaze with 2 c. of sherry
and 2 c. red wine
add 4 springs of thyme 
(fresh is best, but if you must use dry, 1 T will do)
2 bay leaves
reduce by 1/2
then add 2 qts beef stock
(or enough stock to fill your soup pot)
my  first revision/addition
in my perfect world 
(the one I only know in my head)
i could braise say a rump roast, or pot roast, even a short rib or 2
shred the meat and use the meat and braising liquid 
as part of the base for the soup
i think that the lack of stuff in FRENCH ONION SOUP 
is what leaves me a little lack luster
so for my additions, i add stuff, heartiness 
and the first one is shredded beef
 (in case you have never made a pot roast or
at a loss when I say braise, I will put the recipe below! :o) )
after adding the stock let the soup simmer for no less then a 1/2 hour
this will give time for all of the flavors to come together
second addition:
add all these things when you add the stock, 
before simmering--->
carrots, chop them up in nice a small dice
so them will go along with the soft onions and beef 
and not take too long to cook
not only do the carrots add texture but also flavor and sweetness
1 can chopped green chiles
i just like the flavor, its different and good...
its my things and this is my recipe!
1 can dice tomatoes, juice & all
after it simmers this is when you want to adjust for seasoning
i like to add salt and FRESH ground black pepper
at this time also try to fish out the thmye stems & bay leaves

now this is another place where i like to stray, I don't care for the slice of bread on top, i like croutons.
I don't want to have to cut up the soggy bread in my nice hot soup at the risk of burning myself 
when the risk of burning the inside of my mouth is HIGH enough!

I prefer nice homemade herb & garlic croutons
take french bread or old buns or hoagie rolls
and dice them up about 1/2" pieces
then toss them in oil, thyme, garlic powder Or fresh of you prefer, & salt
then bake at 350 
for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy

so top your bowl of soup with a small handful of croutons and 
cover with swiss cheese of greyere cheese
and place under the broiler to get the cheese all melty

when removing the bowl if will be VERY HOT!
place on a plate and ENJOY!

this is how i like to start,
take whatever meat you want to use,
(pot roast, rump roast, short ribs)
and season it well with salt and pepper
you can also coat it with flour if you want to create a nice thick sauce,
but personally I prefer to leave the flour out.
Get you pan nice and hot add oil to the bottom,
enough to coat.
then place your roast in the pan.
You are trying to caramelize the meat so DO NOT TOUCH
just let it be fore maybe 5 minutes before turning, then rotate the meat 
until all sides are nice and brown.
turn down the heat and add 3 c. red wine
(buy cheap red wine 2 buck chuck works fine
or keep bottom parts old bottles)

then add 1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
and 4 stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic gloves
2 T peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 springs fresh thyme
then cover with beef stock 

place in your oven covered at 350
for 3-5 hours depending on size of meat
just check randomly you can't over cook it, only under cook
when you can pull the meat apart with a fork, its done

let cook to room temp, strain liquid and reserve the liquid for your soup, then shred meat....

and it also makes your house small great and feel nice and warm & cozy!
such a great fall dish!


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