Bride’s first recipes, 47pp.
by Irene Chalmers
Potpourri Press, Greensboro North Carolina, 1975
Cooking on page 32
The cookbooks featured on this blog usually come from my collection, the local library or my forays into the bookshelves belongings to friends and family.
This page-32 recipe—I don’t have the cookbook—came to me in an email from my friend, Phyllis, who is from Edmonton Canada. The book was a bridal shower gift.
Poor John and I met Phyllis and Bob earlier this year on our 19-day cruise from Chile to California (more posts about that soon). Long days at sea gave us plenty of time to find like-minded people whose company we enjoyed.
The four of us had plenty of meals together and Bob invariably ordered French onion soup as a starter. Not long after we got home, Phyllis emailed me the recipe and a pic of the cover, saying this was the recipe she made that got Bob hooked on onion soup.
2 slices French bread
2 tsp. melted butter or oil
2 Tb. butter
2 small yellow onions, sliced (about 1 cup onions)
2 tsp. flour
2 1/4 cups beef broth
2 Tb. Apple brandy
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place the bread slices in a small baking dish. Brush the surface of the bread with 1/2 of the melted butter or oil and place in a preheated 300°F oven for 15 minutes until lightly browned. Turn the bread, brush with the remaining butter and continue baking for 15 minutes. This will make the bread crisp and dry. If you leave out this step, when you add the bread to the soup, it will immediately become soggy and sink in a doughy heap to the bottom of the bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan and add the onion slices. Fry gently over low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are lightly browned. Stir in the flour and add the beef broth. Simmer for 20 minutes and add the apple brandy. Ladle the soup into 2 heat-proof bowls. Float the bread on top of the soup. Cover the bread with combined cheese and place under a preheated broiler for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve the soup immediately and try to act very modestly.
How it played out
I made this pretty much as written, brushing olive oil on a slice of my homemade sourdough bread. Also, I used plain brandy and beef stock rather than broth because that’s what I had on hand.
We were starving so I didn’t let this stay under the broiler as long as I should have, so the cheese melted and bubbled, but didn’t brown.
No wonder Bob is addicted to this soup! It’s delicious and so easy to make. I will make it often but next time start earlier so I can give the broiler enough time to do all it’s magic. And Phyllis says it works well with different cheeses and brandies.
So thank you very much, Phyllis, for sharing this wonderful recipe. Thanks also for sharing the short video clip done by a group of students in Edmonton.
In short, Phyllis’ job was to help people find work. Some of that work focused on helping young people. If you want to see how creative young people can be, take a look at the YOUth POW3R music video that was written by three Somali brothers and performed by the brothers and fellow students.