Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 18, 2011

French Onion Soup

Libations used: 1 cup of red wine
Libations left over: Pretty much the whole bottle, so pour yourself a glass...or two while cooking, or serve the bottle with dinner if you can wait that long.
I love, love making soups during this time of year.  Sometimes, I want to eat it every day (and get pretty close to it).  One of my favorite soups to make is French Onion.  It makes my apartment smell like heaven and it's one of the cheapest dishes you can make.  Feel free to get creative with the herbs and additional seasonings, but this recipe is a good base to get you started.  And since I'm the Lush Chef, I like to put some red wine in there too because yes, it really does make everything taste better.

French Onion Soup - serves 4 (or 2 hungry people)
  • 2 1/2 lbs of onions - I like to use a mixture of yellow and sweet
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups beef stock 
  • 1 cup red wine - I used a cheap Shiraz that I had on hand
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt
  • 1 huge sprig of rosemary - I just toss the whole sprig in
  • French baguette, cut into medium slices
  • Gruyere and Parmesan cheese

- French cut the onions.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted and foamed up, add the onions and stir to coat them well with the butter.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and let the onions caramelize for about 45 minutes.  Here's where you pour yourself a glass of red wine and hang out by the stove.  You'll want to stir occasionally so the onions don't burn and you get a nice dark color on the onions.
- When the onions are done caramelizing, add the beef stock, wine, rosemary and freshly ground pepper, to taste.  If you're going to be topping the soup with cheese, then I like to leave out the salt because the cheese already has a salty taste.
- Bring the broth to a boil and then turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, heat your oven to 425.
- When ready to serve, pour the soup in oven-safe bowls (I like using my little Staub Cocottes) and top with a few bread slices and a mixture of Gruyere and Parmesan cheese.  I like to use little chunks as opposed to grating the cheese, because I loooooove cheese.
- Put your bowls on a baking sheet and then pop in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.