Thursday, September 1, 2011


As Mere was baking while waiting for Irene, I was spending time with my Mom. She came up to visit for the weekend and to help me prep for the Hurricane. As we hunkered down inside the house that Sunday I whipped out some good storm soup from the freezer. I had frozen a batch of Classic Onion Gratinee soup and figured what is better on a windy and rainy day. All it needed was a little heat, some hearty bread, and gooey cheese. Mom and I actually came across this recipe last summer at Cafe Noir which was located in Providence, Rhode Island. I say was because they have apparently gone out of business since then. Luckily they gave us their soup recipe!

The recipe is good as is but I have found ways to make it a little more flavorful and easier to eat. I add an additional onion, garlic clove, and thyme sprig, the onion adds heartiness, the thyme and garlic add more flavor. I have also found it is easier to use cubed bread in the soup which makes it easier to eat with your spoon. Last but not least, I shred the cheese so it fills every nook and cranny. It also melts better.

The recipe is supposed to serve 6; but I find it serves about 8. It really depends on how large your bowls and tummies are. Enjoy!

Classic Onion Gratinee
(Courtesy of Cafe Noir)

2 Large Spanish Onions
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
1 Clove Garlic Minced
2 Cups Dry White Wine
3 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper to Taste
6 Slices Toasted French Bread
of Good Gruyere Cheese

Julienne onions, sweat them in butter over medium heat until wilted and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, turn heat to high to caramelize onions. Stir constantly to avoid burning. When onions achieve good color, deglaze pot with wine and cook for about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and thyme sprig bouquet. Season lightly, simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove thyme and season soup to finish. Ladle soup into over proof bowls. Place 1 slice of bread atop each soup and cover with 2 slices of gruyere cheese. Place soup bowls under broiler for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Enjoy carefully, bowls will be very hot!

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