Caramelized onions, hearty lentils accompanied by a complimentary tomato addition.
French Onion soup is the inspiration that created this very comforting soup gratin.
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- . > (American / Metric measures) <
- . 1/4 cup-1/2 stick (60ml) unsalted butter
- . 1/4 cup (50ml) grape seed oil
- . 4 large (about 6 cups/1.5L) Spanish onions, thinly sliced
- . 1/2 cup (100g) green lentils
- . 1/2 cup (50g) red lentils
- . 1/2 cup (50ml) dry Sherry wine
- . 1 can [13oz. / (398ml)] San Marzano tomato, diced
- . 1 Tbsp. (15ml) concentrate tomato paste
- . 1 bottle (340ml) Beer, honey-brown
- . 4 cups (1 Litre) Beef stock
- . 1 tsp. (5ml) sea salt (or more to taste)
- . 4 thick slices of crust bread, cubed and lightly toasted for croutons
- . 12oz. (350g) from Cheese selections: Emmental, ComtÃ©, GruyÃ¨re, Monterey Jack
- . In a small bowl, soak the lentils ahead of time and rinse. Set aside until needed.
- . Thinly slice onions and set aside momentarily. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or 'Dutch oven' pot, melt together the butter and oil on medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and sautÃ© them until they show pronounced brown edges (about 10 minutes). At this point, lower the heat to medium for about 20 minutes. Give them a stir once and a while throughout this cooking time. Add the rinsed and strained Lentils.
- . Afterwards, pour the Sherry wine as it deglazes the pan and the alcohol evaporates. Now, lower the heat to medium-low so that the onions cook down to a complete, deep caramelized stage. Place a cover over the saucepan with it slightly ajar to have moisture escape slowly. This will take another 30 minutes or until the onions have greatly reduced into a deeply rich jam-like consistency.
- . Increase the heat back to medium-high heat. Add the tomato and the paste. Wait a few minutes and then add and stir in the beer. Once, the alcohol has evaporated, add the beef stock and salt. Once it has reached a boiling point, reduce the heat back again to medium-low and simmer for the final cooking of about 15 minutes or so.
- . Meanwhile, if the croutons weren't made ahead of time, the bread can now be cubed and lightly toasted. Set aside. Same goes for preparing the slices of selected cheese.
- . Prepare a baking sheet to soon place the oven-proof bowls. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4 and position oven rack in the center. Once onion soup is ready, ladle it into the bowls, 3/4 of the ways. Add a bit of cheese, followed by a few toasted croutons and finally topped with more cheese.
- . Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted with its anticipated golden edges. They're ready to serve. Buon appetit.
- . Enjoy Claudia's flavourful wishes at FOODESSA.com