Hannah Glasse's classic recipe for onion soup makes, as she asserted, "a delicious dish".
This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.
AVAILABLE FROM THE SHOPS
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds onions, peeled and coarsely chopped (7 to 8 cups)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups water
2 cups Basic Beef Stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice bread, toasted and diced
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent them from sticking to the pan, until they are very soft and caramelized. Add the flour, stirring to coat the onions, and cook for about 1 minute.
- While onions are cooking, combine the water and stock, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the onions are ready, mix them into the hot stock, stirring until well combined.
- Pour a little of the hot stock into the skillet and stir, scraping up any onion particles that remain. Pour the stock into the stock and onions, and add the salt.
- Stir in the diced toast, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Combine the egg yolks and vinegar. Gradually blend 1/2 to 1 cup of the hot soup into the egg yolk-and-vinegar mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Stir the mixture into the soup, and simmer for several minutes until the soup thickens just slightly, stirring constantly. Again, do not let the soup boil, or the egg yolks will curdle.
- Season with pepper and additional salt, if necessary, and serve hot.
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