French Onion Soup, from an Italian Nona’s Kitchen! 

Ingredients

4-6 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter, divided

12 yellow onions. Peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch rings

1 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 -1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

6-8 cups the best quality, low-sodium beef broth

1 large bay leave

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, bundled  

1 large fresh baked loaf of French bread

4 garlic cloves- cleaned. 2 minced very fine / 2 cut in half-lengthwise

4-6 teaspoons good quality Sherry

4-6 ounces Gruyère cheese

Method

In a large Dutch oven, or 6-8 quart stock pot-melt 4 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onions. 

Sauté onions until they are soften stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. 

Add the salt, black pepper and finely minced garlic. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally-until onions are turning a deep brown and beginning to caramelize. ( Reduce heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly – onions contain a large amount of sugar– and sugar can quickly burn over high heat.)

 Cook an additional 20 minutes until all onions are a deep rich chocolate brown. 

Add one cup of stock to the pot and quickly deglaze the bottom of the pan by stirring and scraping, making sure to release all the delicious flavors that are stuck on the bottom. Add the remaining beef stock. 

Tie the thyme, bay leave and fresh parsley into a bundle with twine. Add the herb bundle to the pot. 

Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered, until broth is reduced, thickened and flavorful- about 20 minutes. 

Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Heat the broiler. Cut a 1/2-inch slice of French bread for every serving of soup.

Place bread slices on a rimmed and lined baking sheet- toast bread slices in the oven until crisp, but not too brown. About 1 -2 minutes per side.

Remove from the oven and generously rub one side of each piece of toasted bread with a fresh raw cut garlic clove. Set aside.

Place oven safe bowls, or large soufflé ramekins on the rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with garlic-rubbed toast. Divide cheese among the bowls, covering the bread and some of the soup.

Carefully transfer baking sheet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, 5 to 8 minutes. 

Serve hot.

Plain and Simple. Chicken Udon Noodle Soup. (If you have a noodle eater in your family, this is a recipe must have! )

This recipe is an adaption from Chef Gigi’s signature cooking class; for kids, “Have you Lost your Noodle”? A pasta & noodle making series. 

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You can really add just about anything to your soup. It’s YOUR Soup! Experiment.

Ingredients:

1/2-1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and skin removed- meat cut or torn to bite sized pieces

1 cup fresh, baby broccoli florets

2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4 in thick slices

1/2 white onion, sliced into thin strip

1 lg. celery stalks, cleaned, peeled, sliced in 1/4 in. thick diagonal pieces

2 garlic cloves, peels and smashed

3 qt. chicken stock

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1- teaspoon Hoisin sauce ( to taste)

1- tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1 lb. fresh, Udon noodles

1/2 cup peas, ( fresh-frozen)

1 scallions, sliced diagonally for garnish

3 lg. basil leaves, chopped before serving

Salt and Pepper ( optional)

Method:

1-In a large is 6 to 8 quart stock pot add all ingredients except the peas, udon, scallions and basil.

2- Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook until carrots and broccoli florets are bright in color, and almost cooked through about 5 -8 minutes (depending how thick they are)

3-With a slotted spoon remove carrots and broccoli- cool under cold water or plunge in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, brighten and lock in nutrition- set aside.

4-Add noodles, tomato paste & frozen peas. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until noodles are cooked through, but still firm to the bite. Discard garlic.

6-Return carrots and broccoli florets to the pot. Add scallions and basil.  Adjust seasoning with additional soy sauce or salt and pepper if needed.
Approx 4 -6 servings