French onion soup plus

November 19, 2013

Or, sorta like French onion soup, but it’s not.

Or, more stuff from the freezer.

Winter’s in the air. There’s been a heavy frost the last three nights, leaves are falling at an astounding rate, and it’s been overcast all day so it never warmed up a great deal.

It’s soup weather.

And necessity being the mother of invention, and having a thawed package of minute steaks in the fridge that needed to be used, what might have been French onion soup has evolved into — well, beef and onion and potato soup. It would almost be more like carbonnades a la flamande, but for the fact I used red wine instead of beer. (And there are no photos of it, because, well, it’s not photogenic.

I fetched two packages of caramelized onions and two pints of beef stock from the freezer. (Got to make some more stock; I’m using it pretty fast, now it’s here.) Let those mostly thaw, and put them on in my stock pot. Cut the minute steak up into small bits, salted and peppered, and browned it. Threw that in, added a bay leaf, realized I hadn’t added any wine, which I meant to do after I’d browned the steak, so I used the wine (maybe a cup) to deglaze the skillet and let it reduce, and poured that in too. Let it simmer for an hour, then peeled three decent-sized redskin potatoes and cubed them up in maybe 3/4 inch dice.

As I had potatoes in it, I didn’t see much need of a crouton, so I just grated some parmigiano and sprinkled it on top.

Good stuff. Obviously much heartier than classic French onion soup. Because I used less broth than I otherwise might have, it’s a thicker base, with all the good stuff floating around in it. Instead of being translucent, the broth is more opaque, from the added meat drippings, I guess, or maybe the potatoes played a role in that. It’s not necessarily Sweet Baby Jesus territory, but it’s a good, solid soup that’ll stick to your ribs and warm you from the inside out on a chilly fall evening.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em make you some of this while it’s cold.


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