Most people ring in the New Year with a fancy-pants dinner and dessert.
I am not most people.
Sure, I’ve cooked the fancier dinners in previous years, or baked the fancy dessert, but this year, that all changed. Remember the French onion soup bowls I posted about on Christmas? Well, I had a hankering to use those as soon as possible. And B received a couple packs of really good bacon for Christmas…we both love cheese…we both love onions…so why not try another bacon recipe from Everyday Food? The bacon jam I made him was a hit, and I’ve made French onion soup so many times now, using many different recipes, that I’m pretty sure I can now make it in my sleep.
I did try out a new dessert recipe, which I will post on Thursday, but that was a make-ahead dessert, leaving me with plenty of time to relax on New Year’s Eve.
Or so I thought.
There was a little incident in the kitchen that night. I cooked the bacon, and while I was removing the browned pieces to their respective bowls, my fond on the bottom of the pan was verging on burning. I asked B for a container to pour the bacon grease into, but neither of us thought through the container. He usually pours off the grease after it’s cooled, into a plastic container.
Can you guess where I’m going with this?
Moments after I poured the very hot grease into the plastic container, it melted in half.
Bacon grease everywhere! Unfortunately, he had the task of cleaning the mess up while I attended to the onions and fond; the bottom of the pan had a nice brown coating, and we didn’t want to lose it. Or have it burn.
The onions have so much moisture that they easily allow for scraping up the browned bits from the bacon, so long as you didn’t use a non-stick pot.
As far as an easy soup recipe goes, this one is pretty good. It’s simple, but because you’re serving the soup immediately, deeper flavors don’t really get a chance to develop. Of course, using homemade stock versus store-bought broth will add layers of flavor, not to mention some health benefits, but for a quick dinner (or starter) for a bacon and onion lover, look no further.
Bacon Onion Soup
adapted from Everyday Food, December 2010
12 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced thin
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 pound gruyere, shredded
extra virgin olive oil
Cook bacon in large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned (or well-browned, if you’re me). Remove with slotted spoon and separate into 2 small bowls. Pour off all but a tablespoon of fat (reserve bacon grease for another use) and add the onions. Cook until deep brown in color, stirring occasionally and scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon, about 75 minutes. If onions are burning, turn heat down to medium.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in half the reserved bacon.
Preheat broiler. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place under the broiler until they crisp up.
Fill onion soup bowls with soup and top each with one or two baguette slices. Top with shredded gruyere and reserved bacon pieces. Broil until bubbly.
serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter