Packet French onion soup is far and away one of the biggest food atroscities committed unto the human taste buds. A powder that, when dissolved into boiling water, makes a broth that resembles French onion soup not at all. Not even close. French onion dip. That’s up there, too.
Ahh, this talk is evoking memories my mums’ tupperware parties with their french onion dip and jatz crackers, and maybe some devilled eggs, and prunes wrapped with bacon was another cracker in the 1980s Australian housewives’ repotiore… especially when catering for such an important social event as a tupperware party.
Back to the point. Onion soup. I like my onion soup to have a bit of bacon in it but you can leave it out if you don’t like it. Ha… Yeah… I was just kidding. You do like bacon, right? It also doesn’t need all the booze if you don’t have it. But what it does need is onion, butter and some good stock (which I told you to put in your freezer a few pages back).
100g unsalted butter
10 brown onions, sliced
75ml each port, brandy, balsamic
2.5lt beef or chicken stock
200g smoked bacon lardons*
Melt butter in a heavy based pot over a medium heat and add bacon. When it starts to colour ever so slightly, add onions and and cook out for 10-15 minutes or until they are just starting to colour. Add the booze and reduce by half. Now add the stock and bouquet garni, reduce heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes or until onions are meltingly soft and sweet and beautiful. Check seasoning.
Serve topped with gruyere cheese croutons if you want the ultimate soup experience.
*fatty pork cut into 2cm long strips. aka the good shit.