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Toasted Bread and Onion Soup

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This soup is an ideal vehicle for leftover sourdough bread, which is cut up into cubes, then browned in the oven to enhance its taste. Grated cheese, one of Jacques Pépin's mother's favorite additions to the soup, provides even more flavor.

Toasted Bread and Onion Soup

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
  2. 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  3. 5 cups Basic Chicken Stock or other homemade stock or canned low-sodium broth
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/2 pound sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  6. 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)

Basic Chicken Stock

  1. chicken bones, such as necks, backs or wings
  2. medium onion
  3. herbes de Provence
  4. bay leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over high heat, stirring, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Basic Chicken Stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a strong boil.
  2. Meanwhile, spread out the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer the cubes to a large soup tureen and sprinkle the cheese on top. Pour the boiling soup into the tureen and mix. Ladle into soup plates or bowls and serve.
  3. In a large stockpot, cover the chicken bones with 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and boil gently for 30 minutes. Skim the fat from the stock.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Strain the stock, pressing down on the solids. Measure the stock; if more than 5 cups, return to the saucepan and continue reducing.
Make Ahead The stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


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