Simple French Onion Soup and Puff Pastries with Gruyère Cheese

Recipes, Soups

La fète: Manger comme des gourmands gourmets

Last week my lovely friend Jeanne came over from Paris and she brought with her a recipe for a Soupe à l’oignon with white wine and a stunning snack of Gougères: hearty puff pastry delights with French cheese  (can it get any better?). Although you don’t normally eat these two components together, we found they go really well together; you can dip the Gruyères into the soup for an even richer flavour combination.

Jeannes Vegan Onion Soup impressed me particularly: It is the perfect dish for a sunday evening, as all you really need is onions, a cup of white whine and some old bread (and it is ridiculously inexpensive, too). The thinly sliced onions are caramalized and become so aromatic and sweet that it’s hard to believe the taste of the soup comes from such a humble vegetable. Voilà: here’s Jeanne’s recipe.

French Onion Soup with White Wine

 

Ingredients (as a main for 4, or as a side-dish for 6 persons):

  • 1 kg of onions
  • 50 ml of olive oil
  • 1 optional teaspoon of sugar
  • 1-2 glass of white wine
  • 1.5 liter of vegetable stock
  • 1 branch of thyme
  • 1 bay leave
  • Freshly grated salt and pepper to taste

 

For the garlic croutons:

  • 3 slices of old bread
  • 1 sliced clove of garlic
  • Olive oil

 

Recipe:

  1. Peel and slice the onions thinly (the thinner, the tastier the soup);
  2. Add the onions to the warm olive oil in the pan and let them simmer over a medium heat until they become soft and slowly turn brown. Stir regularly but don’t rush this process: It might take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your pan and the temperature of your stove. For a non-vegan version you can prepare the soup with butter instead of olive oil which will prevent the onions from browning;
  3. Pour the wine into the pan and let it reduce by half;
  4. Add the stock, a little bit of salt, the thyme and the bay leave;
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on a low heat for 40 to 50 minutes
  6. Meanwhile make the croutons by  slicing up the bread into small cublicles, rubbing them with garlic and drizzling them with olive oil. Bake the croutons in the oven util they are starting to brown

 

Tip: Optionally, you can caramalize the onlions before adding the wine; just raise the heat, add the sugar and stir regularly for another 10 minutes before adding the liquids;

Gougères au fromage

Ingredients (for six persons):

  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g of grated cheese (preferably Gruyère)
  • 150 g of sieved flour
  • 80g of butter cut into little peaces(and a little bit extra to grease the baking tray)
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven on 200 °C
  2. In a pan bring 250ml water (about a glass) to the boil, add 1 tsp of salt and the butter
  3. Add the flour all at once and stirr the mixture quickly for one minute to prevent it from burning
  4. Take the pan off the fire and let it cool down for a moment
  5. Then add the eggs, and mix the ingredients thoroughly; afterwards add the cheese, the nutmeg, salt and pepper
  6. Put little portions of the doe on a greased baking tray (about 2 tsps each)
  7. Bake them for 25 minutes

Bon appetit et merci à Jeanne!

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