It’s now 11:00 PM and I’ve pimped the soup to my father and his wife, a good friend from work and his wife, and I’ve had a bowl myself. My wife didn’t have any.
Let’s step back a few hours and review what happened:
Last we saw, the onions had been ‘baking’ for an hour and had begun reducing. I cooked them for another hour, took them out for a stir, back in for a half hour, and then out again. Here we are now:
Look how much they reduced! They’re starting to look a little colored, and very very flimsy.
Now they’re on medium-high heat, and I’m stirring. I’m stirring. I’m stirring. I’m adding some water. Woosh! Steam! Fogged glasses! Keep stirring! They’re really starting to turn colors now.
Now the colors change more drastically, more quickly.
My kids are commenting on how good it’s smelling. I’m in agreement.
The instructions say that I should continue stirring frequently, and scrape any fond on the wooden spoon back into the onions. I’m doing so, because the spoon is becoming tastier and tastier as I go. I’m guessing. I didn’t lick it, but it’s getting coated with a thick, viscous sheen that screams of oniony goodness. And there’s a bit of dark fond at the base of the spoon that I scrape off with a smaller spoon and flick back into the pot.
Furthermore, the instructions say that a dark crust should begin forming. Behold:
My instinct is that this should be a good thing. After all, the instructions said it would happen. But a voice in the back of my head is thinking things may not be so ‘bonne‘. Foreshadowing! My voice was right. Grrrrr.
The crust proves to be very dark, and not just in color. After much deglazing, continued stirring, and much fogging of the glasses, I finally add the juice to the party. Chicken stock, beef stock, water, thyme, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to low. Let simmer for a half hour.
Now we move to the ‘accoutrements‘
The same baguette, sliced, ready to float!
The soup is done!! It has seeped for a half hour, it smells fanTAStic, and I am excited to try it and have others try it.
[passage of time]
I’ve given some to my father and his wife, a good…..wait. I’ve said this.
I’m now at home, and I’ve ladled up myself a little bowl of goodness. I floated a baguette slice, and buried it in gruyere. It broiled in the oven until the cheese was melted and bubbly.
Then I dig in. And immediately I’m reminded of the ‘dark crust’ that I was supposed to have. I’m so reminded because of the little flecks of ‘dark crust’ mingling among the onion (say that 5 times fast!). It doesn’t taste dark, it tastes like mistake. Why didn’t anyone say something? I’m not that proud. I’m now embarrassed. You probably can’t see it here, but I tried to take an action shot:
Mmmm, melted cheese. Mmmmm soggy toasted baguette slice. Mmmm, slow roasted onion soup.
Blech crusty fond flecks.
My lovely enameled dutch oven is now sitting in the sink with a dark crust tattooed upon it. I’ve scrubbed, I’ve scratched (with my fingernails). I want to scrape with a knife, but that would mar the enamel. I tried boiling water in it. Perhaps letting it dry will help get it off? I don’t know. I’m readily open to suggestions. I don’t like the dark crust at all. It’s evil.
Here’s what I forgot to say in my last post: So my pot was less than $50. $39 to be exact. Today we went to Tucanos for my wife’s birthday. Her birthday was last week, but schedules didn’t permit much festivities last week. The Riverwoods is beat to death right now. A bunch of closed shops, and they’ve dug up all the thruways for cars. You have to park around the main area, and then traipse on foot between the shops. It looks terrible. (I’m going to write another blog article about the video on the Riverwood’s site) Tucanos has a 25 min wait, but they take my name and cell and they’ll call me when my table is ready. Pretty cool. We’re walking along, look in gymberee for clothes for Festus (don’t see anything cute AND reasonably priced), and then we see William Sonoma. OOoohh! That’s where I used to go to ogle and fondle enameled dutch ovens! I want to see exactly how much I saved by going to WalMart. Would you believe I saved $200?! Same pot, same size, even same color: $240. Wooot!!
And like I was telling my wife at lunch, it’s not like ‘I know we don’t need this, but it was on sale, so I saved money!’ because I am the guy who would have saved up the money and bought the $240 pot. So looking for a pick-me-up after the bad Festus news, and using birthday money, I really DID save $200!!! How awesome is that?!
The soup was tasty. It had drawbacks, but I’ll work on it. The pot is fantastic. I’m working on getting it clean.
What to cook next in it? 6.5 quarts.
I have an idea! Goulash!!
To be continued….