Dating back to my childhood, I have always loved French Onion Soup. The intense flavor of the broth, the sweet, carmalized, thinly- sliced onions that melt in your mouth. The broth-soaked baguette slice, that oozes with warm, buttery cheese just makes me smile in satisfaction.
The reward of this soup doesn’t come easily. Melt-in-your-mouth carmelized onions come with patience and 45 minutes of slow cooking over the stove with frequent stirring.
But the reward is sooooo fantastic. It’s so worth it.
Start by slicing up 2 pounds of yellow onions very thinly.
Take an onion and lop off the ends. Turn it onto one of the now-flat ends and cut it in half right down the middle. Peel off the skin, and place the flat ends you just sliced face-down and begin to slice thinly across them.
Plow through all of the onions so you have a nice pile.
Get out your large pot or dutch oven on medium heat on your stovetop. Add in two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Swirl them together until the butter melts. Please ignore my scratched pan, I know it goes against some culinary rule and I promise I’m getting a new one soon.
This is how we roll in the real world at Dishin and Dishes.
Dump in all of your sliced onions and go ahead and throw 4 sprigs of fresh thyme right in with them. You don’t need to remove them from the stems at this point, we’ll just pull the stems out later after the leaves fall off.
Also add in one teaspoon of salt and one-half teaspoon of cracked black pepper. The salt will help pull the moisture out of the onions.
Now, you’re going to saute these babies for 45 minutes. They’re going to begin to melt and carmelize until they’re oh-so-tender. You can’t just forget about them though. You have to give them some TLC and stir them every few minutes.
This is after the first fifteen minutes.
Keep stirring and loving on these babies. This is after thirty minutes.
You can begin to see browning beginning to take place in small places.
Keep stirring and loving. After 40 minutes, I pressed in 3 garlic cloves. You could just mince them up real fine with a knife though and toss em in.
Stir this up and let it saute for five more minutes. Now is the time to pull out your thyme stems. You can easily slide your fingers down the stem and remove any leaves still attached.
Then toss in two tablespoons of flour. I had to restrain myself at this point not to just take a spoon and eat these onions as-is!
Give this a good stir and let the flour taste cook out about one minute.
Then add in one cup of dry white wine.
Stir this in well and let it cook for about 5 minutes and let the wine reduce to intensify the flavor.
Then pour in four cups of beef broth. I used one thirty-two ounce box. Also add in one and one-half cups of water and one tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce.
The browning sauce is one of my favorite secret ingredients to kick up brown sauces and soups. It has an amazing flavor punch.
Now you want to let this liquid reduce again for about 20 minutes on a low simmer. While that’s reducing, slice up a french baguette. You’ll need one slice for each bowl of soup. Make them about one-half inch thick. I made these a little too thick for my liking and will make them thinner next time.
Aren’t you glad you get to go through trial and error with me?
Place them on a lined baking sheet and put them into the oven for about 7-8 minutes per side, flipping them once.
Your bread needs to be toasty brown so that it will really absorb the broth from the soup. After you remove your bread, turn the oven up to broil. We’ll need that in a bit.
Speaking of soup, your broth should be reduced now. Take a ladle and evenly ladle out your soup among six crocks or oven-safe bowl.
Oh my. Look at the richness all that loving produced.
Top each bowl with a slice of bread.
Now, I really want to encourage you to try new cheeses. I am quickly becoming addicted to Gruyere after using it on my Cauliflower Gratin. However, if it’s difficult for you to find, you can use Swiss or even Provolone.
Slice up some Gruyere cheese so that it fits nicely across the top of the bowl. You can also grate it and sprinkle it over the top.
I don’t mind the cheese hanging over the bowls. I think it looks rustic and home-cooked and to me that is good news!
Pop these into the oven under the broiler for one to two minutes or until the cheese melts and gets all bubbly.
See that one strange bowl? That is for my picky son who only wanted broth with no onions. Someone other than his mom please tell him what he’s missing with carmelized onions? On second thought, never mind, there’ll be more for me.
You can let the cheese brown a bit if you want. I couldn’t wait.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
This was the perfect soup to make on one of our cold winter nights. It is comfort food on steroids. It’s worth the work and the wait.
Katie’s Printable Recipe – French Onion Soup