I can still remember the first time I tasted French Onion Soup. It was 1974 and I was attending Acadia University with my then husband. We had a friend named Geoff and he had a girlfriend named Julia who was from Quebec City and who loved to cook. She had a fancy dinner party one night for the four of us, and the first course she served was French Onion Soup. I couldn't tell you what anything else was that she served, but the French Onion Soup bowled me over completely. (No pun intended!)
The soup was utterly delicious. Julia was such a sophisticated gal . . . or she seemed to be to a small town Nova Scotia gal like myself! She was even living with her boyfriend! Unheard of in those days! Well, not in small town Nova Scotia anyways! I can remember her presentation and how she on another occasion taught me how to make the soup for myself. It was just fabulous.
I have had French Onion soup in several restaurants through the years, and more often than not it's done so wrong . . . the soup is well flavoured enough, but they put in gagging amounts of cheese. I find it quite overwhelming and impossible to swallow.
I believe there has to be a happy balance of ingredients when you do something like French Onion Soup. A subtlety of flavours . . . nothing should be overwhelmingly glaringly in abundance . . . and especially not the cheese . . . unless of course, you are not talking about soup . . .
Now if you are talking about a French Onion Panini, that's a different kettle of fish . . . you want a goodly amount of cheese in that. It's a sandwich! But not just any sandwich . . . of course!
But a beautifully toasted panini . . . filled with lots of caramelized onions and all the flavours of a nice bowl of French Onion Soup . . . beef stock, a bit of wine, Parmesan cheese and lots of oozingly beautifully tasting Gruyere cheese. Oh, and some crispy garlic croutons for crunch. We can't forget those! Terrifically tasty and appealing. I think I could now teach Julia a thing or two!
(Note to self, next time don't cut the sandwich in half with the same knife you used to slice the beetroot for the salad. Urgh!)
*French Onion Panini*Your favourite soup in a deliciously toasted and buttery panini. What's not to love about this!
Makes 1 sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich
1 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese55g of gruyere cheese (1/2 cup)