Comfort food can truly be a labor of love!
Sometimes you get this wild idea that your Primal French Onion Soup really will be WAY better with traditional sourdough croutons… Aaaand you decide this at 6 pm. I’m actually laughing as I type this. My college finals brain is firing on just about 1 cylinder at this point. It’s okay. We’re all going to make it through.
Even though dinner wasn’t ready until midnight, it was a celebration of the last warm, hearty soup I will probably make for a while… And damn delicious to boot! Summer is just around the corner folks, and the CSA/farmer’s market bounty will have us doing snow angels in piles of brightly colored produce for myriad weeks to come.
Say goodbye to the last cellar onions and garlic in this deeply flavored broth that will make it worth breaking that crock out one last time.
-In a crock, braise a tough beef roast overnight covered in water with a TBSP of black peppercorns, and plenty of sea salt to your taste.
-Remove the beef and set aside.
-Add a bottle of Red Wine and a half dozen diced cellar onions, and a couple hundred cloves of thinly sliced garlic…. or I suppose a half dozen of those would work too 😉 Add a 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves and a TBSP of sugar (sugar optional)
-let simmer for several hours. You can’t really mess this up… it just gets tastier as time goes on.
-Shred the beef and add back to the broth.
Here is an old tried and true sourdough recipe which I find to be a very tasty using a starter made with Rainshadow flours. They ferment beautifully because of their lack of refinement and this produces a denser wheat sourdough. I find it to be chewy, rustic and endearing.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.
- 2 1/2 cups Flour
- 2 cups ripe (fed) sourdough starter.
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water.
- Mix these all together and kneed until well incorporated. Pat into a ball and cover for an hour or two to let the dough activate and rise.
- Kneed again and form into a parchment lined bread pan. Let sit and proof for another hour or two. (In Central Oregon, I find it helps it along to turn on the oven to low and then when it preheats to 170, I turn it off and let the bread rise in a warmer setting than it would get on the counter)
- Spray loaf with water and bake at 425 for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
Slice the bread and broil with some shredded gruyere, or parmigiano reggiano until melty and browning. Place the crouton on top of the Primal French Onion Soup, sprinkle with fresh thyme, and just get in there!