|Soup's On! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I'm no expert at making broths, and I know beef can be a little trickier than chicken, as there's more flavor from a whole carcass than a segment of bone, even with some marrow in it, so there are extra steps people take to get as much flavor as possible. I just roast the beef bone for a bit before letting it take the plunge into a pot of water for a few hours to simmer away. In terms of spices, I add things like whole cloves, a star anise if I have it, bay leaves, and peppercorns, but don't go overboard, as I don't always know how the broth will be used. I'll usually let it reduce down a quarter before calling it done; the result isn't overwhelmingly rich, but for basic soups, it's a nice thing to have on hand. The first time I took a stab at broth-making was almost a year ago, on an older version of Wasabi Prime that was on Vox. Check out this blast from the past when I made beef broth.
Onion soup seemed like a delicious reward for a day's work of simmering. Notice I'm not saying French onion soup. The final result is too different for purists, so the Français factor gets dropped out of respect. The UnRecipe-ness of this was that I started out with a classic French onion soup recipe, but puttered around with it. A recipe that's similar to what was produced is on Epicurious -- their onion soup with loads of thyme.
While thyme was on my side (har har), bread and a soft, melty cheese was not. Let's be honest, we order French onion soup because we want the floating toast with the blob of crispy, molten Gruyere sitting atop the little soup tureens. Not that the finished onion soup wasn't delicious, but it was going to be melted cheese or bloody murder at this point.
Not wanting to go to the grocery store for the missing ingredient walk of shame, I rummaged the refrigerator and found some grated Parmesan cheese. Turning the oven on to 350 degrees, I pulled out a cookie sheet and silicone mat, and made little flat rounds of cheese sprinkled with fresh cracked pepper. The oven did the work, melting the cheese into crispy golden wafers. While I won't say this is as satisfying as a piece of toast with melty cheese, it worked as a quick fix to garnish the soup and add a little extra flavor as it melted in.
|I couldn't eat another bite! Not even this waaaaaafer thin round of cheese? - Photos by Wasabi Prime|