To make the soup, heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and shallots and saute gently for 20-25 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and shallots, stir and cook for a few minutes longer.
Pour in the broth and wine. Add the bay leaves, thyme, cracked pepper, carrot and orange peel. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Add the beef and bone if using.
Transfer to a slow cooker and simmer on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours and 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened and caramel in color. Remove the bay leaves, orange peel, and thyme sprigs and discard. Remove the carrot and mash until smooth; set aside. Correct the seasoning of the soup as needed. Important: crockpot must be monitored.
Preheat oven 400F. Arrange two racks: positions A and C.
To make the onion garnish, peel the cipollini onions and slice into thin onion rings. Add pinches of the other ingredients. Stir in just enough mashed carrot (about 1 tablespoon) to coat the onion and make the other ingredients stick. Spread the onion mixture on a sprayed nonstick cookie sheet and bake at 400F on the lower rack for 10 to 12 minutes, taking care not to burn or over-dry. Stir or flip the onions once or twice.
Meanwhile, to make the toasts, arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and top with cheese. Place in the 400F on the higher rack and bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
To serve, place a cheese toast in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle some of the onion soup on top. Place a second toast on top and spoon in more hot soup. Garnish with crispy onions and chopped parsley. May be browned under a broiler for up to 5 minutes. Serve hot. Can be kept warm in 325F oven for up to 15 minutes.
[Per Serving: 519 cals, 15g total fat (27%cff); 68g carbs; 4g fiber; 553mg sodium]
to the roux, up to twice the amount. Cover, ajar, and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden and slightly thick.
Karen Lee (author of The Occasional Vegetarian) mentioned porcini mushroom powder "as a fast and easy way to get mushroom taste into a dish. It does not need to be reconstituted."
KitchenPatH Recipes | http://home. Earthlink. Net/~kitpath 09/16/98(Wed)
Intro: Here's a lighter version of the classic onion soup modeled on one of Jesse Ziff Cool's recipes, called Onion Soup with Crispy Shallots and
version can be cooked in crockpot or stove top. Jesse adds a carrot to her soup and omits the sugar. We like the result: the carrot adds sweetness and another layer of flavor. We tested several lowfat techniques, such as oven-crisped onion rings and Karens Lee's ground dried porcini mushrooms.