Am I saying that I have the intestinal fortitude to claim the French Onion Soup classic as a Canadian thing? Maybe. I’m not really sure what intestinal fortitude is. All I’m saying is that the one I make is distinctly different. While the French cook theirs usually with white wine and pretension mine is based with beer and humility. So, you know, how amazing am I, right?
Perhaps the greatest dish to eat in the seemingly eternal winter of Canada, onion soup hits the spot like nothing else when you just can’t warm up. What spot you ask? How the hell would I know? I don’t make up these expressions. February quite literally is the suckiest month that ever sucked ever. It sucks the bag, you might say. It’s amazing how 28 days can feel like 128 when the weather is like this. “But Phatman, you say you are hitting the gym a ton lately and you are trying to lose weight yet lately you are writing articles about things that aren’t very healthy.” Well, that was one long question and you didn’t even end it with a question mark. But ok, fair enough. My response to that is to remind you that one day the sun will explode and everything that we have ever known to exist will be gone, wiped out completely. So try not to be melodramatic if I eat something a little fatty and heavy when it’s -72 outside for 30 days in a row.
Canadian Onion Soup
1 Spanish Onion(or 1.5 if they are a bit small)
1 Cup beef consommé
6 Bottles of beer
1 to 1.5 Cups of water
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tsp Thyme
2 to 4 Slices of toasted or grilled baguette
A few handfuls of grated cheese of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Alright, step 1 open a beer. Suck that thing right back. BAM! Getting warmer already. Take another beer and repeat step 1. Hey winter, is that all you got? Hang on, still a little cold? Not ready to cook yet? Take another beer and repeat step 1. SHAZING! Damn, it’s starting to heat up in here now baby! Sweet, now who is cooking me dinner? Me? What the hell are you guys doing in my kitchen? Ok fine I’ll take one more beer and repeat step 1. SCHWING! I love you guys you know that? Amazing, I think I just actually felt myself get better looking.
Now that we’re warmed up let’s grab our sharpest knife and slice the onion into rings so they look like rings of onions. Wow, that has a nice ring to it. Heat up the oil and butter in a bottom heavy pot and toss in the onions. Cook them until they get soft and translucent. It should take about 7 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them though, you don’t want them getting all carmelized and crunchy. They need to be soft.
Once that’s done measure out 1 cup of beer and add that, the consommé and the water to the onions. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Wait, there is still some beer left in the bottle. SLAM! Hang on a sec, am I still wearing pants?! Time to fix that sh*t stat! Now lower the heat on the soup and let it cook down for about 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure to check on it from time to time so that it isn’t drying out. Sorry ladies, after this much beer there is no way to turn down the heat on this scorching sex appeal though.
While the soup is cooking down you can then slice up the baguette and toast some slices in the oven, or you know, the toaster, and grate your cheese. I tend to use a mix of mozzarella and cheddar for this. I would love to use Swiss cheese but the lady friend hates it. She also wants me to put my pants back on. If you can’t take the heat baby just look away.
Ok, the soup is just about ready now? Awesome. Set the oven to broil. Fill your fancy onion soup bowls with the soup and make sure to leave a bit of space for the bread and cheese. Top it with the bread and then add the cheese and throw them in the oven. Getting the cheese nice and golden should take about 3 to 4 minutes. The perfect amount of time to polish off that last bottle of beer! KABAM! By now you should feel like you could go out dancing in your boxers out in the snow. In fact, let’s go try that. Ok, cheese is golden now? Remove it from the oven and dive in.
There is also a Ukrainian alternative to this that I whip up from time to time, seeing as I am part Ukrainian. This one consists of all 4 basic Ukrainian food groups: cabbage, potato, vodka, and self loathing. The steps to this one are super simple. Slam back shot after shot after shot of vodka. Talk to the cabbage weepily about all of your problems. Eat the potato like an apple. Loathe yourself. Simple!