Monday, August 29, 2011

How I Survived Hurricane Irene Part I

So there I was, Saturday morning.  It was a hot and humid day. The sky was blue and the sun was shining.  I found it hard to believe what was coming our way, but she was....Hurricane Irene!  We had done what everyone had urged us to do and battened down the hatches.  I brought in my plants, all kids toys were safe in the shed, and anything that could potentially be a projectile was tied down. After that, I did what any other good domestic does when there is a storm looming. I made soup.  We domestics are crazy when it comes to soup.  We make it when someone is sick, or when someone has a baby.  We make soup for holidays, or any days.  Soup to me is the be-all end-all of comfort food.  I love it on rainy days - especially when I come home from the grocery store soaking wet because it had started to downpour just as I was running to my car to unload my bags (3 p.m. blue sky's no more).  Oh yes, I love soup.  It warms the bones and the heart, and for some reason I feel good knowing there is a homemade batch of soup in the house just as a HUGE storm is about to hit. 

Saturday I made French Onion Soup.  Some people make this soup with chicken broth, but I prefer to use beef broth.  I like my onion soup to be dark, rich, and full of flavor.  Here's what you need to make it. 

4 cups of thinly sliced onions (2 large or 4 med size onions)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs flour
8 cups beef broth (5 cans or 2 32oz boxes)
3 cups water
2 cups red wine

In a large soup pot, saute the onions and garlic in the butter.  Let them cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. 

Here is a short video of me sauteing the onions.  Forgive the quality - I'm new at shooting these videos, but I needed something to pass the time while the onions cooked....

Did I ever mention how much I love Nat King Cole?  Who can't smile listening to that?  One of my favorite Cd's. My world stops when Mona Lisa comes on.  I have to take time to daydream. 

The wine glass represents an open bottle that couldn't go to waste.  Which could explain the video... : )  Anyway...back to the soup.....

Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve ladle the soup into oven proof bowls.   Toast a small piece of Italian bread or French baguette and drop it into each bowl. 

Next, top with a handful of cheese.  You could use mozzarella, Swiss, or gruyere.  I had mozzarella on hand so I used that...

Put under the broiler or in the toaster oven for a few minutes, just to melt the cheese.  {I put the bowls on a cookie sheet covered in foil. Be careful when removing from the oven because they will be extremely hot.}

Put the hot bowls on small plates and bring to the table.  Rob, the hubbie, loves this soup and I love making it for him.  My little one likes to nibble on the cheese and toast. 

We had left overs the next night and I froze the rest.  Some cool, crisp October evening when we are weary and tired and there is nothing for dinner I'll defrost this soup and bring us back to life.  That's the power of soup ; - )

So while the wind gusted and the rain fell my little family of three sat around the kitchen table and warmed our chilled, wet souls with french onion soup - thankful to have shelter, electricity, and eachother.

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