Friday, October 14, 2005

French Onion Soup

Some friends took me out to lunch to celebrate my birthday last weekend. Two of them ordered French Onion Soup. I asked T, who is an excellent cook, if she makes French Onion Soup. When she said no, I offered to share my recipe with her. The one I use is nothing special. It's from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook published in 1980, to give you an idea of how long I've been using it. But like all Betty Crocker recipes, it's simple and delicious.

The only change I have made to the recipe is that I use my toaster oven to toast the bread rather than the broiler. Toasting under the broiler seems like overkill to me. The toaster oven is so much easier.

There are two important things to remember when making this recipe. The first is that you must use ovenproof bowls or individual casseroles because the soup is placed under the broiler for a few minutes to cook the cheese. I splurged and bought some cute little crocks. The other thing to remember is if you use Campbell's Condensed Beef Broth, contact your local school before throwing away the labels. Some schools do collect Campbell's soup labels to earn important school supplies like computer equipment.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper.

French Onion Soup
(Source: Betty Crocker's International Cookbook)

4 medium onions, sliced

2 tablepoons margarine or butter

2 cans (10 1/2 ounces each) condensed beef broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

4 slices French bread, 3/4 to 1 inch thick

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (about 4 ounces)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cover and cook onion in margarine in 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add beef broth, water, bay leaf, pepper and thyme. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Set oven control to broil and/or 550F. Place bread slices on cookie sheet. Broil with tops about 5 inches from heat until golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn; broil until golden brown. Place bread in 4 ovenproof bowls or individual casseroles. Add broth; top with Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan chees.

Place bowls on cookie sheet. Broil with cheese about 5 inches from heat just until cheese is melted and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with additional French bread or rolls if desired.

Donate: Campbell's soup labels to your local schools

Recycle: soup cans

Compost: onion skins

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