French onion pho soup

French onion pho soup

Soupe a l’oignon à la Viêtnamienne

By
From
Luke Nguyen's France
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Here I have taken two of the best-loved classic soups of both France and Vietnam and combined them. This is not fusion cooking — history and culture made it happen.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 large brown onions, thinly sliced
250ml white wine
2 slices sourdough bread, toasted and torn into large bits
100g emmental cheese, grated, (see glossary)

Pho broth

Quantity Ingredient
6 beef shin bone pieces
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 cloves
5cm knob of fresh ginger, cut in half
1 large onion, in its skin, cut in half
50g sugar
40g rock salt
75ml fish sauce

Method

  1. Start by making the broth. Put the shin bones in a large saucepan and cover with 4 litres cold water. Wrap the cinnamon, star anise and cloves in a piece of muslin, add to the pan and bring the water to the boil over high heat. As the water comes to the boil, constantly skim the impurities from the surface, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, continuing to skim regularly.
  2. Heat a chargrill pan to medium. Chargrill the ginger and onion for about 8 minutes, or until nicely browned.
  3. Add the chargrilled ginger and onion to the broth, along with the sugar, rock salt and fish sauce. Cover and cook at a very low simmer for a further 3 hours. Remove the muslin bag and allow the stock to cool. Strain through a muslin cloth and set aside.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onion for a further 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the onion is golden.
  5. Pour in the wine and 2 litres of the pho broth. (Any leftover broth will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.) Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
  6. Heat your grill to high. Take four heatproof serving bowls and fill each one two-thirds full of the soup. Divide the toasted sourdough bits among the bowls, then sprinkle the cheese over the bread. Place the bowls under the hot grill for 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted nicely and you have a nice crust. Serve immediately.
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