Lattice Pastry Topped French Onion Soup with Veal Broth
This is an extra special variation of French onion soup, in which a puff pastry lattice is used to top the soup. Because this is such a stunning looking French onion soup recipe, it makes an excellent appetizer at a dinner party. You can also serve it for lunch or as a special supper. The puff pastry layer is very easy. You simply have to put the pastry over the soup and bake it until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. The French onion soup cheese goes on top of the pastry and melts when you bake it.
When working with pastry, it is important to keep it chilled. This means using it straight from the refrigerator, using cold utensils and working on cold work surfaces, else it starts to get sticky and a lot harder to work with.
The veal broth used in this pastry topped French onion soup recipe gives it a sophisticated flavor and the goose fat (or duck fat) gives the caramelized onions a truly luxurious finish. If you want to impress your dinner guests, this wonderful veal broth French onion soup is definitely the way to do it. Whenever you present something with a pastry lid it is normal for your dinner guests to wonder what is underneath the topping. A Gruyère-topped crouton usually gives the game away but unless someone has a very keen nose, he or she will not be sure until the pastry top is peeled back to reveal the glossy, aromatic soup beneath.
- 3 ½ tablespoons goose fat or duck fat
- 1 pint white wine
- 4 ¼ pints veal broth
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 8 onions, sliced thinly and evenly
- 2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons grated gruyere cheese
- 12 squares puff pastry, about ¼ inch thick and 1 inch wider than the soup bowls
- 2 beaten eggs
- Melt the goose or duck fat in a heavy pan on a low heat, and then add the onions.
- Cook them over a low heat for about 40 minutes, or until they caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour the white wine into the pan and scrape at the stuck on bits on the bottom. Add the thyme and veal broth and cook the French onion soup until it is reduced by a third.
- Remove it from the heat and divide it between 4 bowls.
- Chill the bowls of soup in the refrigerator.
- Measure the puff pastry so it fits an inch over the bowl rim and put it over each bowl.
- Seal the edges firmly into the soup bowls.
- Brush the egg wash over the pastry and then sprinkle the grated gruyere over the top.
- Cut the rest of the pastry squares with a lattice cutter and spread them over the top of the pastry lid, sealing the edges over the first pastry layer.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and put the bowls of soup on a cookie sheet or shallow roasting tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Veal broth is lighter than beef broth, but just as aromatic and delicious. You can see how a dish of this French onion soup is going to look once you have started eating it and broken through the pastry topping. This makes a great lunch or supper, and pastry is easy to make although a lot of home cooks assume it is tricky. There is nothing tricky about it. The veal broth pairs very nicely with the white wine and the resulting flavor is smooth and elegant. This is a wonderful dinner party option if you want to serve soup but something extra-special.
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