Friday Food & Wine Pairing (vegan option too!)

by Denise on January 25, 2013

Happy Friday! Here in Oregon it’s a dreary, drippy, cold winter day – perfect for one of the simplest comfort foods! Although I am now vegan, I certainly remember the creamy, gooey, wonderful texture of French Onion Soup! recipe from epicurious calls for bay leaf, rich Gruyere or Emmental cheese, and dry white wine. I would suggest pairing this soup with an Oregon Pinot Gris, like Domaine Meriwether’s Pinot Gris $20 which has a silky texture that matches the soup plus enough acidity and minerality to cut through a whole pot of warm, gooey cheese. And, it’s more than good enough to enjoy with the finished dish. Let me know how it turns out (I’ll be in my kitchen trying this vegan French Onion Soup Recipe!)

• 2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
• 1 (1/2-lb) piece Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental
• 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes.

Remove croûtes from oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan. Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese plane to cover tops of crocks, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

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