The Truth... What is it?

Dixie's French Onion Soup

This soup is an "onion soup gratinee"...see Wikipedia URL, here. In my first marriage with Dixie Brown Shaw up to 1994, everyone LOVED her French onion soup. After the funeral of Marlene Baldwin on Dec. 8th 2016, Betty and I stopped at Rivertown Bistro (URL here) in Conway, S. C., which Betty found on Yelp. In the mood for a starter soup for lunch, I saw this soup on the menu & asked the waitress how good their French onion soup tastes. "Everyone says its wonderful!" I ordered it; and, with the first slight taste, I blurted to Betty, "This soup tastes EXACTLY like Dixie's!!!" Dixie has graciously given me permission to post it on my website. Dixie indicated that her recipe is modified after a [1971?] Jacques Pepin's Onion Soup Gratinee. Comparing the two, I note that her's (I found a recipe in her own handwriting), below, is a serious modification; & Dixie notes that hers makes 6-8 servings (and we have done a little modifying, too):

  • Meat taste: three 10 & a half ounce cans condensed beef broth.
  • Additional liquid: 3 cups of water.
  • Bread: 6-8 slices (enough to be able to almost cover each crock's soup surface) of baguette (long skinny loaf of French bread), toasted on both sides.
  • Taste enhancer #1: one bay leaf.
  • Taste enhancer #3: 2 large sweet onions, sliced then coarsely minced to produce 4-5 cups.
  • Taste enhancer #4: a bag of grated Swiss cheese (such as Sargento) & possibly a slice or two.
  • Taste enhancer #5: a quarter teaspoon of black peppercorns, coarsely cracked.
  • Oil/grease: 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • Thickener: one tablespoon all-purpose flour.

 PROCESS: You will have already toasted your bread. (1) Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan pot over medium heat, and (2) then add minced onions & cracked peppercorns & start to saute the onions, stirring frequently until they are caramelizing to become lightly browned. (3) Then sprinkle flour on caramelizing onions and stir in another minute. (4) Then add broth, water, & bayleaf to the cooking onions. (5) Then bring the onion recipe to a boil & then reduce temp. & simmer for 30-40 minutes. (6) Then discard the bay leaf. (7) Taste and add seasoning (salt) only if needed. (8) In the meanwhile, have oven pre-heated to 400°F. (9) Then pour soup into each oven-safe serving crock. (10) Place 1-3 slices of toasted bread on top of soup in each serving crock. (11) Possibly lay a strip or so of sheet cheese across each crock opening & then sprinkle cheese on top of each toast & onto soup surface & even against the lip of each crock as desired. (12) Put each crock into oven and bake or broil until cheese bubbles (maybe even turns golden). (13) Carefully serve (VERY hot crocks) & also be very careful to allow to cool a bit before you "dive in"!

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(posted 9-11 December 2016)