This is the traditional soup of the Basle carnival. It is served in the early morning hours after the Morgenstraich (the official opening of the carnival) and again after everyone is tired and hungry from the Gässle (when the small, masked groups parade through the streets).
2 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 Large onions
Chopped parsley/chives (optional)
1.2 L Beef bouillon – the better the stock the better the soup. Whilst manufactured stock can be used, I recommend making your own bouillon following this recipe.
To make bouillon:
1kg of beef bones – shank, marrow bone or rib bones
500 g shin(shank) of beef, chopped
1 carrot, thickly sliced
1 onion, thickly sliced
1 celery stick, thickly sliced (optional)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 Bouquet garni (place 5 peppercorns inside a short piece of celery and secure them in place with a small carrot; add a sprig or two of thyme, a few sprigs of parsley and a bay leaf. Tie together with a piece of string)
Put the bones in a large saucepan, then add the other ingredients and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, skim the surface well, then simmer very gently, half covered for 4 to 5 hours. Strain through a fine sieve and chill before removing the surface fat. If one wishes to clarify the bouillon place the chilled stock in a saucepan with 2 lightly beaten egg whites and their egg shells. Bring slowly to the boil, whisking occasionally. Allow the liquid to rise in the pan as it reaches boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer very gently for 20 mins. Strain through muslin.
To make the soup:
Fry the flour gently in the butter until it browns the colour of chestnuts. Add the bouillon gradually mixing so as to avoid lumps and boil gently for at least an hour, the longer the better. In the meantime fry the onions finely chopped until golden, then set aside.
Just before serving add onions to the soup and then serve topped with grated cheese, chopped parsley/chives and croutons.