Nothing says warmth like a hot bowl of decadent French onion soup. So just imagine the depth of flavour when you smoke your onions first! The flavour profile of this classic dish is totally transformed – and brings a new chapter to this age-old traditional dish.
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This recipe requires a smoker.
Preheat smoker to 325°F.
Finely chop shallots and onions and add to a large cast iron pan. Chop fresh garlic and add to the pan with the onions. Add the herbed butter. Place in the smoker for 45-60 minutes, removing once the onions have softened and started to caramelize.
In a separate cast iron pan, melt butter and add in sage. Stir. Once the onions have been removed from the smoker, using tongs, transfer them straight onto the plancha (griddle). Drizzle with the bourbon and allow to cook and reduce. Then, drizzle with the melted butter and sage and keep cooking, about 5-10 minutes. Once the onions are nicely caramelized, transfer back into the cast iron pan. Keep pan on the plancha. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the onions and stir.
Slowly ladle in beef broth, one at a time, so the onions are just covered. Stir and allow to cook and reduce. Once the liquid has reduced, ladle in about another cup of beef broth and continue to cook and reduce. Continue this process of reducing and adding more broth, for 1-2 hours, so the flavours meld. If there isn’t enough broth toward the end, you can ladle in a bit more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
During the last half hour of the soup cooking, prepare the topping by thinly slicing baguette into rounds. Drizzle plancha with canola oil and place sliced baguette down to toast. Flip to toast the other side and arrange the pieces of baguette together as best you can, to be about the size to cover the top of cast iron pan. Once the baguette is lightly toasted, cover with grated Edam cheese and allow to melt slightly.
Once the cheese on the baguette is starting to melt, using two large spatulas, transfer them on top of the onion soup in the cast iron pan. Make sure the baguette is sitting in the soup and the cheese is on top. Cover and let everything cook together and the cheese to melt.
Once the cheese is melted, remove from the plancha and you’re ready to serve. Spoon the soup into a bowl, making sure the cheesy baguette pieces cover the broth. Garnish with the chopped chives.