Friday, April 13, 2012

Coke French Onion Soup

Coca-cola is a great ingredient for all sorts of dishes where you want the caramel flavoring and sugar. I've used it in BBQ sauce, pot roast, cakes, and more. Recently I was watching a food show where the chef was using it while caramelizing onions and it struck me that it would be great in French onion soup

The secret to a great French onion soup is to cook the onions long and low. The onions need to sweat out moisture and their sugars, thus caramelizing. You should use sweet yellow onions, but often times I only have red onions in my frig and they work just as well. The Coke just adds more caramel.

The bread is meant as a thickener. Europeans use bread to thicken many soups such as Italian ribollita or German schwarzbrotsuppe.

My cheese of preference is Fontina, but use your favorite. Some people will also add a bit of cooking sherry or wine.

Overall impression? Does the Coke add much? It adds a bit more sweetness, but doesn't really change it that much. It's more just the novelty of it.



Coke French Onion Soup
make 1 large serving

1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup Coca-Cola
2 cups beef broth
stale bread, about 1/4 cup 
1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese

In a medium skillet melt together the oil and butter. Add onion and turned to low heat. Allow the  onions to cook with minimal stirring. You want the onions to turn a dark golden brown without crisping or burning. Add thyme and Coke and continue to simmer until the Coke is nearly all evaporated and absorbed. Pour in the beef broth and simmer for another 2-3 minutes until soup is hot.

Pour the soup into a large soup bow l. Place pieces of stale bread on top. Spread cheese over the top of bread. Place bowl under broiler and melt the cheese until it is melty, bubbly, and golden. Carefully remove bowl and serve.




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