The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Gruyere’

French Onion Soup

In Recipes, Soups on October 10, 2013 at 9:03 AM

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

(Serves 2 or 3 – Active preparation time about 1 hour)

We found these great oven-proof soup bowls with handles at  Williams-Sonoma a while back, and they have been sitting fallow in our cabinet ever since. But yesterday, with the weather turning to full Autumn here on Cape Cod, the bowls cried out to be used. Since they resemble those soup bowls one would see in un petit bistrot somewhere on La Rive Gauche, what better soup to christen them with than a hearty Soupe à l’Oignon.

Betty whipped this up last night for a light supper, and with the lights turned down low, a candle on the dinner table, and Edith Piaf warbling in the background on the stereo, we enjoyed a 30 minute flight of fantasy to The City of Light.


1/4 lb. unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 slices French bread, about 1″ thick
4 large onions, sliced thin
4 sprigs of thyme
4 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup of sherry (Amontillado)
6 cups of College Inn, Fat-Free, Low-Sodium Beef Broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb. Gruyere, sliced thin – sufficient to cover the top of each soup bowl


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large heavy pot, on medium heat, sauté the garlic in 4 tbsp of the butter.
3. Brush bread slices on both sides with the garlic butter mixture.
4. On a cookie sheet, bake the garlic bread in the oven for 6 minutes on each side, remove and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.
5. While the garlic bread is baking, add the remaining butter to the pot and melt, add onions and thyme sprigs, cook over medium heat until onions are well caramelized.
6. Remove the thyme sprigs, sift flour over the onions, mix well and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Add sherry and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more.
7. Add beef broth, salt and paper, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes until thickened as desired.
8. Place toasted garlic bread in soup bowls, add onion soup to the brim.
9. Cover bowls with layered Gruyere slices and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.


Hot Artichoke Dip

In Appetizers, Recipes on February 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Hot Artichoke Dip

(Active preparation time 45 minutes + 30 minutes cooking time in oven)


2 Cans of Cento Artichoke Bottoms (Net Wt. 14 oz.) packed in water (7 to 9 per can)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup thinly sliced leeks, about 1/2 leek
4 oz. dry white wine
½ lb. Imported Gruyere, 2 cups shredded
Salt & black pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper


1.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.    Drain the artichokes, place them in a food processor, and pulse chop for about 10 or 12 pulses. It should produce about 3 cups. Set aside.
3.    Melt the butter in a small sauté pan on medium-low heat. Raise heat to medium, add the leeks and sauté until translucent, do not brown; then add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4.    Add the wine and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until melted. Shut the heat and add back the artichoke – leek combination.
5.    Turn heat to medium –low, add the cayenne pepper and stir and cook for several minutes until thickened to a consistency similar to that of oatmeal.
6.    Transfer the mixture to a small ramekin or cocotte and bake uncovered in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top is a light golden brown. Remove any excess oil that rises to the top and place under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly brown.

Serve with lightly toasted thinly sliced pieces of French baguette.

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