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 Vidalia Onion Soup

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PostSubject: Vidalia Onion Soup   October 2nd 2012, 4:35 pm



Vidalia Onion Soup
It’s hard to improve on French onion soup topped with melted cheese that almost magically turns
into delicious, gooey strings when you lift a spoon. In this recipe, I wanted to leave the basic
concept intact, but find a way to vary the ingredients. Vidalia onions—sometimes called the
apple of onions because they are so crunchy and sweet—fit the bill. They grow in a particular
area of Georgia, and are the state’s official vegetable. When cooked slowly, their sweetness
becomes even more pronounced, and they turn a lovely, deep mahogany color. I discovered that
sautéing the onions for at least 35 to 40 minutes is the key to giving this soup its rich, slow-cooked
flavor. Homey and comforting, this soup can lead off a cozy night at home.


Garlicky Croutons
1 French baguette, cut into 15 slices (about 1-inch thick each)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
11/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 grinds of black pepper from a pepper mill

Soup
6 tablespoons salted butter
8 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cups cream sherry, divided
3 tablespoons tomato paste
16 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
8 to 10 croutons
11/2 to 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

■ For the garlicky croutons: Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl toss
the bread slices with the olive oil, garlic
powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until
the seasonings are evenly distributed. Place
on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or
until crunchy and hard. Remove from the oven
and set aside until ready to use.

■ For the soup: In a stockpot melt the butter
over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté
for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the
garlic and sauté 20 minutes more. Add 1 cup
of the sherry. Deglaze the pan, stirring to
loosen the cooked pieces on the bottom. Add
the remaining 1 cup sherry, tomato paste, beef
stock, and bay leaves. Increase the heat to
medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. Add
the cornstarch-water mixture, increase the heat
to high, and boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat
and season with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

■ Remove and discard the bay leaves.

■ Preheat a broiler to high. Place the soup in
an ovenproof casserole or individual crocks.
Place the croutons on top of the soup and
sprinkle the cheese on top. Broil until the
cheese is bubbly and brown, about 3 minutes.
Makes 8 to 10 servings

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