With sweets at every meal, it seems and cookies and candies being passed everywhere you go, a simple meal of onion soup graintee makes a perfect supper.
My original recipe is French and starts with making the stock from the bones of a standing rib roast. It's worth the effort but in the hustle and bustle of December, that often is not possible. A quick substitute is frozen soup that I found at Costco. Complete with croutons and cheese. Put the frozen block of soup into an oven proof dish and bake for 40 minutes. It comes out perfect.
And if you have a standing rib roast for Christmas, onion soup gratinee makes the best of the bones. I'm including that recipe because I think it is so good. And it is always fun to make "from scratch" rather than taking the easy way out.
Onion Soup Gratinee
Prepare beef consomme by simmering the bones of a standing rib roast for several hours in 4 cups of water. Let it simmer down to 2 cups of consomme. Strain.
Peel, then slice very thinly, 1 1/2 pounds white onions; in a large frying pan, melt 2 T. butter, add the sliced onions and cook at medium heat until a nice golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 T. flour and stir in well. Pour in 4 cups boiling water and 2 cups of the hot beef consomme. Cover lightly and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is cooking, dry in the oven, or toast, as many thin slices of French bread as you need to cover the bottom of each individual oven proof pottery bowl (I prefer the lions head Apilco bowls). Remove soup pan from fire, add a generous tablespoon of thick cream. Empty the soup into the individual bowls -- not too full. The bread comes to the top. Cover bread with a generous sprinkle of Gruyere or Swiss cheese and put the dishes in the oven at medium heat (350) for about 20 minutes. Serve in the dish -- very hot!