Friday, January 11, 2008

WFD? French Onion Soup Canadian Style

January should be dubbed the Month of Soups. I mean is there anything you are craving more after the blitz of holiday feasting? What else could be more ideal to beat the January blahs when the weather is snowy and blowy and the daylight sparse? Dig deep into a piping hot bowl of onion soup and it will be like your very own sunbeam, defying those gray wintery skies out the window.

We’re enjoying the post-holiday peacefulness and the dismal weather outdoors makes it even easier to cozy up inside and read the baby names book. Since we don't know if we are having a boy or a girl, there is even more discussion of names than usual. It's so hard to pick!

French onion soup should not be rushed. Well, the onion chopping part, yes. Blitz through that as fast as you can while still maintaining five digits on each hand, then once they are in the pot, pour yourself a little white wine and read a cookbook or food blog while they slowly caramelize and take on that dark brown color.
In this version, the sweetness of the onions is enhanced slightly by a tad of maple syrup and the soup is given an extra Canadian touch with the addition of our own aged cheddar cheese.

French Onion Soup Canadian Style

2 tbsp canola oil
2 lbs sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
½ cup white wine
Salt and pepper
6 slices baguette, toasted
2 cups aged Canadian cheddar such as Perron, or Gruyere, shredded

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or until caramelized. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in maple syrup. Add the broth, wine and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler.
Divide soup between 6 ovenproof bowls. Top with toast slices and equal amounts of cheese. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts and lightly browns. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and serve.


Peter M said...

Aimee, you're gonna give the French on the continent a run for their money.

The tough dish washing after the meal is worth every gooey spoonful of soup!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Love the Candian twist on this classic soup Aimee. Why did I ever get rid of my Onion Soup bowls. I used to have 2 sets!!

winedeb said...

This is too funny. I just got back from the store and picked up all the ingredients for onion soup. Now you have my interest with a few different ingredients than what is usually put in "French" onion soup. The maple syrup has got my attention!
Love the cheese layer of yours!

Mandy said...

That looks spectacular! Perfect for a cold winter day!

test it comm said...

French soup is one of my favorites. Yours looks amazing! I really like the sound of the tough of maple syrup. Bookmarked to try.

Anonymous said...

Maple syrup in French Onion Soup???

As a PROFESSIONAL CHEF educated at Peter Kump's Culinary School in Brooklyn, I think I'll pass on that!

My boyfriend, "Big Bear" would throw me through the window of my rented trailer house if I put syrup in his soup (and since he was raised in the swamps of Florida, he is kinda French).

JEP said...

Amazing photos! Actually, January is National Soup Month!

Anonymous said...

This looks AMAZING!!!!
Kevin and I will definitely be trying out this recipe soooooon......

Brilynn said...

That sounds so good! Mmmm the maple syrup would be such a good addition.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of French in Canada, so this is OK by me.

I dare say I'd probably like this better than regular French Onion Soup, but that's just because I love Maple Syrup, lol.

Awesome job.

tammy said...

Boy, does this ever sound good. Love the local touches of maple syrup and cheddar. This will work for me in New England, too.

Helene said...

Love the twist and I am willing to give it a try...who said we had to have the only say in Onion Soup!

Zaak said...

Sounds like a candidate for this summer's feed (we are allowed to eat soup in the summer too I hope ;). We'll see how it compares with the archives and the coming months. Too bad we'll be too early for apples.

Chef Jeena said...

Hi there you have a great blog. I am not a big fan of onion soup but I am changing my mind looking at this delicious recipe! The ingredients sounds wonderful and the pitures make me want to dipa spoon in right now. :-)

Anonymous said...

hmm ... yummy. Looks fantastic!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Aimée, you are making me crave soup and it's summer here in Brazil, sweetie! :)

Michel said...

Not that I'm an all-caps "professional chef," but this is pretty much the same recipe that I follow, especially the slow cooking of the onions.
However, I add lardons (home-cured) to the broth rather than maple syrup. It adds a bit of punch to the soup without detracting from the all-important onions.

Sandy said...

Mmm, one of my favorite soups ever. And yours looks so gooey and delicious. The maple syrup sounds like it could add a nice new dimension also.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Having only ever had a couple of very good/decent bowls of French onion soup, one coooked by a Belgian friend, I think maple syrup would be a good addition.

Great pics!

kickpleat said...

oh wow, that looks amazing!! i'd love to feast on a big bowl of that right now. i love that you added in some maple syrup.

Anonymous said...

I love the maple syrup idea. French Onion soup is a staple in our house, we will definitely be giving this a try. Our current favorite calls for a bottle of Maudite beer and a quarter cup or garlic.

Aimée said...

Hi Peter- Thanks, good thing my hubby does the washing up, eh?
Hi Valli- I know what you mean about the soup bowls, they are kind of useless the rest of the year.
Hi Deb- Ah, so you agree that January is the perfect month for soup.Cheers!
Hi Mandy- I her you guys get your fair share of those in Winnipeg...
Hi Kevin- Do try it, it's a classic!
Hi Chiffonade- Thanks for dropping by and for your amusing comment! Stay far away from this soup-I wouldn't want anyone nicknamed 'Big Bear' coming after me either!!
Hi JEP- Ah ha! So I was onto something. Thanks for enlightening me! Now I have the perfect excuse to make some more soups.
Hi Brilynn- Spoken like a true Canadian!
Hi Graeme- So your one of those guys who pours the pitcher of maple syrup over his WHOLE plate of breakfast, not just on the pancakes. Nice!
Hi Tammy- Yep, you got the goods down there in NE, too.
Hi Helen- Thanks for the vote of confidence!
Hi Zaak- What month do you estimate being here?? Anything goes, of course. I can give you my to faves, too.
Hi Jeena- Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by. You never know if you like something until you try it, right? :)
Hi Patricia- Mission accomplished!
Hi Michel- Sounds GOOD. There's no way bacon can ever harm a dish.
Hi Sandy- Thanks! Hmm, would the kids go for this one??
Hi Amanda- Thanks! Wish I could serve you up a bowl...
Hi Kickpleat- Thanks! Chalk one up for the syrup!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

thanks ;)

Nora B. said...

Your soup looks so wonderful with the melted cheese overflowing. I am so tempted to make onion soup after seeing it popping up on a few blogs, but it's been too warm in Syndey.

All the best with the baby name discussions! :-)

Emeline said...

I think I've eaten soup everyday this month! Great photo and nice updates on a classic! Will be trying it, hubby LOVES french onion soup. How did your little one like it?

Mandy said...

this comforting onion soup will be the perfect companion to curl up the sofa with.

Aimée said...

Hi Nora- Enjoy the heat while you have it, I wouldn't mind if it was a tad warmer around here!
Hi Emeline- Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by. I didn't even try the soup with my Noah, I know better by now...
Hi Mandy- It's not a bad antidote to the cold..

Anonymous said...

MMMMMM, Aimee, this looks so good! I wish we could share a bowl together!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Yum, I could dive into that soup and take a lap around, eating all the cheese.

Anonymous said...

Your soup looks marvelous and is perfect for my husband, as he has few remaining teeth.

By the way, he's the one who has misappropriated the screen anme "chiffonade" and criticized you for using maple syrup. the real chiffonade is a nice person. My husband loves playing internet games.

Sarah said...

Hi Aimee,
I'm making a lovely onion soup tonight for supper -just thought i would add something - my ex-bf usd to work at a little french resto on Laurier called La Petite Ardoise and the chef used to put LOTS of bay leaves in his Soupe a l'ognion and it was super bon!

i just happen to have a dying Bay plant on my window sil so this will be it's last hurrah!

Hope the wee one enjoys it!

Maggie said...

Oooh—I've never heard of adding maple syrup, I bet that's PERFECT.

Dine O Mite! said...

Just tried your recipe tonight...excellent. The maple syrup is a great touch!

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Anonymous said...

Then don’t try it. Simple as that. I don’t know of any chef or home cook that doesn’t put their own twist on recipes!


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