The Examiner is assembling a winter cookbook, and in doing so has requested recipes from its food writers. Being the Montreal restaurant examiner, choosing a recipe from a Montreal restaurant can be quite daunting.
My editor informed me that the cookbook was low on soup recipes; in Quebec, traditional soup usually means pea soup, and of course, French onion soup. Many Montreal chefs have their own version of this classic, but none are as "Quebecois" as the version served at Montreal landmark, Au Pied de Cochon.
This recipe was taken from the Au Pied de Cochon cookbook.
French Onion Soup
6 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
200g slab bacon, cut into 2cm lardons
300g raw milk Gruyere cheese, grated (regular Gruyere can be substituted)
300g raw milk Emmenthal cheese, grated (regular can be substituted)
50g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
150ml (2/3 cup) red beer
1 ½ liters (6 cups) pork stock
2 branches rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and caramelize the onions. Add the lardon and rosemary and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the beer and reduce by one half. Add the pork stock. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
Pour the soup into (oven proof) bowls. Cover with the croutons and cheese, brown under a broiler and serve.
For more interesting versions of French onion soup, check out Lesley Chesterman's website.