Friday, March 7, 2014
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4. Make the croutons while the soup simmers: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter, stir in the garlic salt, and use this to butter both sides of the bread. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes, turning once. Keep warm.
Ladle about 2 cups of soup into each of 4 individual-serving heatproof crocks that can go under the broiler, making sure each one has a generous serving of onions as well as broth. Top each crock with 2 small French bread croutons or 1 large one and cover with 2 slices of cheese. Set the crocks on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese melts, bubbles, and turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Don’t worry if the cheese drips over the edges of the crocks, as that makes it even more like it’s served at Junior’s. Top each crock with a few sliced scallions if you like. Serve immediately. Do not refrigerate or freeze this soup.
The Junior’s Way
• Flavor your onion soup the way they do at Junior’s, with a concentrated beef soup base product like Better Than Bouillon®. Sold in jars, it’s made from roasted beef and beef broth, and adds a deep, rich flavor to any broth. It’s available in other flavors as well, including chicken, vegetable, mushroom, turkey, and ham. Look for it alongside the bouillon cubes in the supermarket. One teaspoon of soup base equals 1 teaspoon of granulated bouillon or one dehydrated bouillon cube. We recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of beef soup base per quart of soup, then taste it for flavor, particularly salt, before adding more. We have found you can add a little extra to the hot soup, if needed, during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
• Junior’s tops each crock of their onion soup with two slices of deli-style Swiss cheese. Look for one that has been aged long enough to develop a slightly sweet, slightly nutty taste.
— Compiled by Meredith Goad, Staff Writer