Sunday we tromped out to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our holiday throne for 2012. It's one of our many loved holiday family traditions that we both enjoy and look forward to each year. As much as each year I think, "Man, having a tree with lights already attached sure would be nice" we would never trade this tradition for the ease of an artificial tree.
I love to decorate for the holidays.
But it never feels complete until our tree is up and decorated with all of the ornaments from our many travels and family & friends.
|Sally Porkchop Christmas 2012 6 months old|
Sally Porkchop decided she wanted to get involved in the festivities this year too. One of our yearly traditions when putting up the tree is to celebrate it's decorated beauty with a warm bowl of French Onion Soup.
Actually we originally made the soup the night before when we had some good friends over for dinner. Since I've been sick for what seems like a week soup is sounding good all of the time. But I intentionally made a double batch knowing we'd be getting our tree the next day and that it would be fantastic for our tradition.
We've made a variety of recipe versions of French Onion Soup. This one is a good one not our very favorite but I can't seem to locate the recipe that we love the most. So the past 2 years we've been making this one which is a tweaked version of Ina Garten's from the Food Network.
On top of the wonderful caramelized onion soup we placed some crusty toasted bread rubbed with garlic cloves.
On top of the bread we grated a combination of gruyere,
entemaler and Parmesan-reggiano to be broiled to a melty goodness.
The house had the aroma of many, many onions and almost overpowered the smell of our freshly cut Christmas tree but the smell itself brought back the memory of tradition and comfort.
We enjoyed our delicious soup with a bottle of Fidelitas Cabernet Franc. Which was fantastic paired with this rich soup.
French Onion Soup
2 pounds onions, halved, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (we used white onions this time but prefer yellow usually)
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
6 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Toasted sliced bread, rubbed with garlic cloves
Freshly grated combination of gruyere, emmenthaler & Parmesan-reggiano to top the bread
1 teaspoon dried thyme
In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute the onions with the butter and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and brandy and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes.
Add the beef and veal stocks plus salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Toast the bread and rub with garlic cloves. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt and pepper, and serve hot with grated cheeses. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned.