Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Onion and Fennel Soup Gratin

I love classic French onion soup topped with toasted bread and melted cheese, especially as the weather gets colder. This Barefoot Bloggers selection is a twist on French onion soup, caramelizing fennel with the onions. The sherry and Cognac impart a rich, sweet flavor. This is a delicious soup!

Source: Onion and Fennel Soup Gratin, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?


4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

¼ cup good olive oil

3 pounds Spanish onions, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick

2 pounds fennel, tops and cores removed, sliced ¼ inch thick

½ cup good dry sherry

½ cup Cognac or brandy

1 ½ cups good dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

8 cups canned beef broth

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 small sourdough or white French boule, crusts removed, sliced ½ inch thick, and toasted

4 to 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated


Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fennel, and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a golden brown. If the onions aren’t browning, turn the heat up. Add the sherry and Cognac, scraping up the brown bits in the pan, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes. Add the beef broth, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and taste for seasoning.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 5 inches below the heat source. Ladle the soup into heat-proof serving bowls, top with the toasted bread, sprinkle generously with grated Gruyère, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. Some friends and I are cooking our way through this book. Looks like I'm going to have to suggest this soup for us to cook and SOON! thx