Local Flavor: Dean & Deluca’s French Onion Soup

29 Sep

The overnight temp here in Kansas City will dip down to a very autumn-like 39 degrees this week and do you know what that means?  It’s officially soup season.  That, combined with the fact that the Green Bay Packers played Monday night – which always makes me think of cheese, of course – has me craving french onion soup.  And the best french onion soup I’ve had in this city is at none other than local favorite Dean & Deluca.   It is, as they say, out of this world.  If you can’t make it down to 119th and Roe, or if you possess an adventurous spirit and want to recreate the onion-y goodness in your own kitchen here is their recipe.

It’s soup season folks!  Amusez-vous!

Ingredients:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into slivers (about 6 cups)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 heaping tablespoon flour
3 1/2 cups beef stock, boiling
2 cups water
1/4 cup cognac
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 slices stale French bread (each about 3/4 inch thick)
1 1/2 pounds Gruyère or Emmenthaler (Swiss cheese), coarsely grated

Directions:

1. Melt butter over moderate heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and sugar, stir well, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until onions are wilted and light golden. Uncover and continue to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until onions are brown and well caramelized. (Watch carefully, so the onions don’t burn.)

2. Add flour to pan, stir well to incorporate flour into the onion mixture, and slowly stir in boiling stock, water, 3 tablespoons of cognac, salt, and pepper. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add the remaining tablespoon of cognac.

3. While it is simmering, in a preheated 400 degree oven, toast the bread slices for 10 minutes, turning them once after 5 minutes (the croutons should be well-toasted on each side).

4. Divide soup among 4 oven-proof bowls, each with a capacity of approximately 1 1/2  cups. Arrange the croutons on top (try to make an even layer of croutons that tops each bowl). Sprinkle croutons generously with grated cheese, allowing some cheese to spill over onto the rim. Put bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls. Serve immediately.

5. Instead of grating all the cheese, you can cut some of it into wide, thin slices and drape the slices over the sides of the bowls. This helps to prevent the cheese from slipping off the rims of the bowls.

Author’s Note: Satisfy your salty and sweet craving by pairing it with a baby spinach salad topped with mandarin oranges and walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette.    And, of course, don’t forget dessert!

Spicy Pumpkin Cheesecake, Dean & Deluca

Credits:  Recipe published with permission from Dean & Deluca.  For additional recipes and how-to videos, click here.  Or click here to visit their site and order a Dean & Deluca cookbook.     

Photo credits:  feature photo, soup, spicy pumpkin cheesecake.

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