Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bistro-Style Campbell's French Onion Soup

My husband is a very picky eater. He doesn't enjoy eggs. He's not into vegetables. He's suspicious of most condiments. He doesn't like seafood, not even lobster. (I know. Who doesn't like lobster?) And he categorically shuns hot liquids of any kind, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soup, and consomme. There is just one exception with the hot liquids, and that is French onion soup. He can't get enough of the stuff.

He claims it's because French onion soup is barely soup, what with the piece of bread soaking up most of the liquid, and the bubbly cheese masking all that disgusting soupiness. I have to agree that French onion soup is on my list of Top Five soups (the other four being New England clam chowder, won ton, beef barley, and egg drop--I'm sure you were dying to know).

So he was totally on board when I decided to turn a can of Campbell's French onion soup into one of those gorgeously gooey, piping hot bistro French onion soups, served in those cute little brown-and-white soup pots. Except I don't own any of those cute little brown-and-white soup pots, so I used some creme brulee ramekins instead.

The process was ridiculously easy. First, I heated the soup according to the directions on the can (adding one can of water). Then I cut up a fresh baguette and toasted the pieces. Then I submersed the bread in the soup, topped off the bowl with two thick slices of cheese, threw on a dusting of paprika, and broiled the whole thing for five minutes. So good.

The only thing I would've done differently is add on a few more slices of cheese--about double. My batch turned up some burnt cheese; had the cheese been thicker I don't think there would've been a problem.

Bistro-Style Campbell's French Onion Soup

1 can Campbell's French onion soup
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 French baguette
16 thick slices of Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Pinch of paprika

1. Preheat the broiler to 350 degrees F. Prepare the canned soup according to the directions found on the can. Add pepper to taste.

2. Cut the baguette into 4 1.5-inch slices. Reserve the leftover bread to serve with the soup. In a toaster oven, toast the slices until lightly browned, about 3 minutes on each side.

3. Ladle equal portions of the heated soup into 4 6-ounce ramekins, filling about 3/4 of each ramekin. Submerse the bread slices in the soup. Top with four slices of cheese each. Sprinkle on a dusting of paprika.

4. Place the ramekins on a baking tray, and transfer to the broiler. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.  

5. Remove from the broiler, and garnish with some fresh basil leaves, if desired. Serve immediately with the extra baguette. Serves four.

1 comment:

  1. Great picture (first). Thanks for sharing your bistro-style Campbell's French onion soup recipe. You're very inventive :)
    French Course