Sunday, April 20, 2008

French Onion Soup with Green Beans

¼ cup vegetable oil
3 cups sliced onion (most types-except red-work well)
½ cup shallots (or just one more ½ cup of the above kind of onion)
¼ cup sherry (optional just adds a more refined taste)
5 cups beef broth
½ pound cheese (Jack, Mozzerella etc..)
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp thyme
2 garlic cloves
French Bread (one loaf is enough for the recipe)

1 pound green beans (washed with ends snapped)
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup parmesan

Heat the oil in the bottom of a pot and sauté the onions for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile gather the herbs and garlic in one of those mesh balls- OR if you are like me and don’t have one cut a 3 x 3 square from a clean rag and tie the corners in knots around the herbs and garlic.

Add the broth and the herb packet and simmer for 30-45 minutes while covered so as not to lose any liquid.

Normally the soup is poured in oven safe bowls, the bread is added, the bowls are topped with cheese and broiled until browned and bubbly. I use an easier method. It’s not as pretty but saves a lot of time and you can use any old bowl. I slice the bread and spread it across a baking pan or dish. Slice the cheese and spread over the bread. Broil the bread and cheese until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Then pour the onion soup into bowls and take a 1 or 2 slices of bread (now covered in hot cheese, so be careful ) and drop into the soup bowls just before serving.

Steam the green beans until tender. Meanwhile, toast sliced almonds by heating in a skillet with a 1 tsp of butter stirring constantly so they do not burn. When the green beans are done, immediately rinse in cold water to keep the color. Place in a dish and top with 2 Tbsp of butter, the almonds and a sprinkle of Parmesan if desired.

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