Sunday, October 2, 2011

French Onion Soup Pizza

With fall rolling in and my fingers permanently cold already, the thought of a steaming bowl of soup holds a special attraction. The richly mingled flavors provide the ultimate comfort: the opportunity to be warm from the inside. So in honor of chilly mornings and yellowing leaves, get out your stock pots and your stirring spoons and let's make a big vat of ... pizza?

... I know, it's confusing. You came to this pizza blog, then I go making you all nostalgic about soup, and now we're back to pizza again. Well, it's not as convenient to cup a slice of pizza between chilly hands, but this one should still satisfy your deepest soup cravings.

French onion soup essentially involves caramelized onions simmered in a broth of wine and beef stock and topped with cheesy croutons. We modified the recipe to achieve a saucier consistency for smearing on a pizza crust (aka the cheesy crouton), and we made it vegetarian.

1. First, melt 1/3 cup unsalted butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add 2-3 large onions, sliced; 2 garlic cloves, minced; 2 bay leaves; a sprinkling of thyme leaves; and salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and caramelized.
raw onions
caramelized onions
2. Next, add about 1/2 cup red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the wine cooks off, about 5 minutes. Stir regularly.
wine added
wine cooked off
3. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour over the onions and mix. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, to cook out the raw flour taste.
with flour
4. Here's where our recipe veers off from the soup recipe. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth (or beef broth for the French purists among us) and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken the mixture as much as possible. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
broth added
the final result

Once you've got all that done (are your arms tired from stirring?), the pizza itself is a piece of cake (har har).
  1. Whole-wheat crust, par-baked
  2. A generous spread of the onion sauce
  3. A solid covering of grated Gruyère (we ended up using about 1/3 pound of cheese)
Bake at 450 degrees for 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and a little bubbly. Enjoy with a fine French wine and an elegant side salad.

NOTE: If you wanted to actually make soup, you would add 2 quarts of beef/vegetable broth at step #4 above and simmer for 10 minutes. Alternately, if you have leftover onion sauce after making your pizza, you can easily transform it into soup by adding more broth. Then take some chunks of crusty bread, top them with thin slices of Gruyère and broil them in the oven or toast in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted. Float the croutons on the top of the soup to serve.

(See, you got a soup recipe after all!)

1 comment:

  1. brilliant! brilliant! brilliant! will definitely be trying this one. anything that involves Gruyere gets my vote (p.s. via a.d)