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06/ 04/ 2016

THE BEST ONION SOUP EVER, MAKE NO MISTAKE!

In my opinion, the French onion soup at Balthazar, a very well-known restaurant in London, is the best that I have ever eaten. But, unfortunately, there are only two restaurants in the world, one in NY and the other in London. I first visited this restaurant in NY. And, of course, as I’m a food lover, addicted to cookbooks, I didn’t think twice about buying Balthazar’s cookbook (hahaha!). To my delight, during my stay in London, I did a course next to Covent Garden, where Balthazar is located. And, I usually have lunch there. The restaurant has a bakery that sells sweets, sandwiches and fresh breads. Covent Garden is a very popular and charming market in London, with its quirky craft stalls and designer boutiques, restaurants, bars and museums. Besides the delicious onion soup at Balthazar, I used to go to Shake & Shack in Covent Garden to eat a sandwich that to me, was the best! This soup is super easy to be made and the caramelized onion is responsible for its intense colour. But, you should be careful at this point because, the other day, my smart oldest sister burnt the onion a little bit when she caramelized it. So, she ate soup with burnt taste (hahaha!). Another point to consider: just be careful not to burn your mouth with this boiling soup! Ah, I also described how to make the chicken stock that Balthazar uses in all their dishes, but if you don’t have time to make it, you can buy the industrialized one!  

ONION SOUP GRATINÉE

 

                 Total time: 2 hours                                         Serves: 6 portion

 

Ingredients:

- ¼ cup olive oil

- 4 medium onions, peeled

- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced

- 4 springs of thyme

- 1 bay leaf

- 1 tablespoon salt

¼ teaspoon cloves powder

- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns

- ¾ cup dry white wine

- 2 liters chicken stock*

- ½ cup port wine

- 6 slices Italian toasted bread

- 2 cups gruyère cheese, grated

 

 

Method:

1. Peel the onions, cut in half and chop into slices. Cut them crosswise for half moon shapes and reserve;

 

2. In a pan, heat olive oil. Next, add onions and stir continuously to prevent burning until they have developed a brown colour;

 

3. Then, place butter, garlic, thyme, bay leave, colves, salt, black pepper and let cook for 10 minutes;

 

4. Next, add white wine, cook for 3 to 5 more minutes until the alcohol evaporates and reduces;

 

 5. Put chicken stock and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes;

 

6. Remove from the heat. Take the springs of thyme and bay leaf out from the soup. Add the port wine;

 

7. Place the soup into 6 individual bowls, put the toasted slice of bread on top of the soup and sprinkle a generous portion of gruyère cheese onto each bowl;

 

8. Place into the oven until the cheese melts to a crispy golden brown colour.

 

 

*Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

- 1 kg chicken bones

- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped into 8 pieces

- 2 celery stalk, cut into half

- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into half

- 4 garlic cloves, peeled

- 2 stalks leek, cut in half

- 4 springs of thyme

- 2 bay leaves

- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

 

 

Method:

1. Rinse the bones. Put in a large pan, cover them with 3.7 liters of water and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that forms on the surface;

 

2. Next, put all ingredients and cook for 2 hours;

 

3. Finally, sift the stock for use and, if there is some quantity store up in the fridge for 5 days or up to 1 month in the freezer. Generally, I freeze on ice forms; it becomes easier when I need them.

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