My little brown dog Gracie likes to help out in the kitchen. Sometimes she gets in the way, or does something like express a little too much interest in the ingredients on the counter top. When this happens, along with about any other time she gets scolded, she pulls out the big guns. Brent and I call them her Sad Ears. She uses the Sad Ears when she's very sorry that she's done something to offend you, but wants you to know that she still loves you regardless of her poor behavior. This little picture on the left is a good example of her Sad Ears. She obviously knows how to work me, because the Sad Ears melt my heart every time.
My inlaws came over for dinner a few weeks ago. Soup is one of my father in law's favorite foods, so I decided to try my hand at PW's French onion soup. I had also watched America's Test Kitchen on our public access channel and they had gone over the perfect French onion soup recipe. The picture is awful, but the soup was wonderful. It took awhile to make, but it was worth it. If you've never been the The Pioneer Woman's website, take a minute to venture over there, it's worth your time too.
1 stick butter 4 large yellow onions, halved top to bottom and sliced nice and thin 1 cup dry white wine 4 cups chicken broth 4 cups beef broth 2 cloves garlic, minced Worcestershire sauce Several thick slices of baguette 5 to 7 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a Dutch oven, melt the butter then add the onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Next, put the soup pot in the oven with the lid slightly ajar. You want the onions to get nice and brown.
Cook the onions in the oven for about an hour, stirring occasionally so they won't stick and burn. Remove the pot from the oven and put over medium heat. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping up all the brown flavorful bits from the pot bottom and sides. (Here's a tip I learned from ATK: you can cook down the onions and deglaze with wine more than once, I think they did it three times. Each time adds a little more flavor. I was in a hurry so I only did it once). Cook the deglazed onions for another five minutes, allowing the wine to reduce.
Add both broths, garlic and a couple glugs of Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat until brown and crispy.
When the soup is ready (at this point I decided to add a lot of salt and pepper to my soup, so taste it and see if it needs seasoned), ladle into bowls, place a piece of the crispy bread on top, along with the grated cheese (I love my family but they got Asiago this time, Gruyere was out of my budget) and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.