January really is the month of rebellion for our little cabal of bloggers. Just as B and Eva have expressed in their last blog posts, I have no interest in opining on National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. Like the other girls, I’m over sweet (not having much of a sweet tooth to begin with) and doubly over chocolate, as it comes up at least a couple times of month on this list. Therefore, I’m making a change…

*D whips out a small magic wand, a la Harry Potter, and waves it around. Sparkles ensue!!!*

Welcome friends, to National French Onion Soup Day. What better food for a cold January day than this sweet, rich, cheesy classic: white onions, beef stock, and Gruyere cheese.

I feel FOS was a victim of it’s own popularity – for a brief heyday in the 60’s and 70’s it was ubiquitous. Didn’t everyone’s mom have those little handled dishes, in brown or orange in their cupboard? But what goes up, must come down and FOS hasn’t been seen on foodie menus for quite a long time. I aim to change that one dinner party at a time. My best FOS to date was made for Berry’s gourmet dinner party a few years ago. Vidalia onions, turkey stock, star anise, and manchengo cheese = oh happy day!

For your enjoyment, and to encourage you to give this a go for dinner tonight, here’s a little photo essay documenting the delicious process.

Slice
Peel and thinly slice 5-6 medium onions. Easy peasy of you have a mandolin.

Caramelize
Add the onions to a large pot over low-med heat, with a little olive oil and/or butter. Toss to coat. Add in some thyme and star anise. Let them sweat and soften, then turn up the heat to medium, and caramelize them. Keep them on the heat, and keep stirring occasionally, until they are a rich deep brown.

Toast
Slice up your baguette, brush with some olive oil or butter, and toast for 10min a side in a 350c oven. This will take less time if the bread is stale. Leave the oven on.

Simmer
Once the onions are brown and delicious, add a liter of beef stock, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of cooking sherry. Season, and let simmer for 20 min.

Cheese
Grate some cheese. I used manchengo, but you can really experiment here and use whatever flavors you like.

Assemble
I sadly don’t have little handled dishes, and I bet you don’t either. Pick something oven-proof, i have this pyrex bowl. Ladle in the hot soup, top with toasts, and toss on a good whack of cheese.

Broil
Put it in the over on a cookie sheet @350c for about 10 min – until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

ENJOY!

(this is the most important step!)

~Deanna

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