January 31, 2013

In the Kitchen: French Onion and Fennel Soup

I am a little souped out. Since October I have been making various soups almost weekly. I made this  french onion and fennel soup at the beginning of the month with the temperatures were below 50 and honestly, I did not feel like going to the grocery store. The rich beefy broth and gooey melted cheese make up for the simple ingredients. Because, sometimes the most simple foods are the best. 

French Onion and Fennel Soup
Adapted from Ina Garten 

2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 pound yellow onion, sliced
1 large fennel, top and core removed, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups beef broth 
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon kosher salt 
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 loaf of french bread, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces and toasted
4 ounces gruyere 


Heat butter and oil in a large dutch oven over medium low heat. Once melted, add the onion and fennel. Cook onions and fennel over medium low heat from about an hour until caramelized. Do not try to speed up the cooking process by turning up the heat, you want to cook the onions and fennel low and slow to build flavor. 

When onions and fennel turn a golden brown add white wine and scrape any bits that may be on the bottom of the pot. Add broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered on low heat  for 30 minutes. 

To toast french bread, preheat your ovens broiler. Broil bread until browned on both sides. Next, ladle the soup into oven safe bowls on a baking sheet. Place a piece of toasted bread on top of soup and sprinkle with generously with gruyere cheese. Broil for about 3 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

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