I bought some beef base at Costco. I’ve never made beef broth–never end up with many beef bones somehow. But I do like making a soup now and then with a beef base rather than a chicken base and a good onion soup is one of my favorites.
I began by skimming several recipes. It is, of course, basically sauteed sliced onions, beef broth, and if you want to do the “French” part, put a slice of toast and cheese in each bowl and broil until melted. All had you cook up the onions, some in butter and some in oil and butter; some for 30-45 minutes, others faster. Some had garlic added at the end. Some had Worcestershire (always tempting!) Some had you add flour before the broth. One had cognac, one white wine, one brandy, and one sherry added with the broth. One actually had a can of cola added and I have to admit just the uniqueness tempted me. (Plus they had a great cartoon of a woman looking for a greeting card and asking “Do you have one that says ‘Stop cooking for 5 minutes or I’ll leave you’?” Most had thyme. Some parsley. One actually used chicken broth but I guess I’m too much of a traditionalist for that! I actually skipped the toast and cheese part, but noticed the cheese ranged from Gruyere to mozzarella to Parmesan.
So what’d I do? This:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 cups beef broth from beef base
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup sherry
- Melt the butter and saute the onions until soft and just slightly browned, about 30-45 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute another few minutes.
- Add the broth, parsley, thyme, and sherry. Bring to a boil then reduce to just barely a simmer, with a bubble breaking the surface now and then, about 10-15 minutes.
I remember making some a long time ago with a can of tomatoes and a mixture of chicken and beef broth and that was good too.
I skipped the toast tonight but this is great with either a piece of toast or some croutons and some sort of cheese on top broiled until melted.