Wednesday, February 9, 2011

French Onion Soup

I love a good bowl of French onion Soup. I don't like the onions too long and stringy that they slip off my spoon and splash on my blouse. I like the broth to be flavorful and seasoned well, not flat and watery. Most importantly I want a thick crusty crouton on top covered in melty cheese.

I've made a similar soup before, using Guinness as the base and I thought it was really great. When asked to bring a soup to work for a group luncheon, I thought of making the Irish Onion Soup again, but wanted to try something new. I turned to Ina Garten who always has fantastic recipes. I used her recipe as my inspiration but added a few extra ingredients like fresh thyme which I thought added a nice herbal element.

You will need onions, lots of onions. I used three very large sweet onions, which cut up amounts to 8 cups. The key to cutting the onions is to slice in half and then cut into 1/4 inch slices from ROOT to TIP.

Another important element is the liquor. I used a dry sherry and a brandy that I keep on hand for cooking, 1/2 cup of each.

You will also need to gather:
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups good dry white wine
8 cups beef stock
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly grated Gruyere
Baguette, sliced on the diagonal ¼-inch thick

In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, saute the onions with the butter and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. You cannot rush this step! After an initial sweat of the onions, I turn the heat down to low and let it cook, stirring occasionally until the color is dark like this.

After 20-30 minutes, add 1/2 cup of the brandy and 1/2 cup of the sherry. I add these separately and let the onions cook in the liquid for five minutes before adding the next ingredient. These liquors will deglaze the pan and the onions will absorb all the flavors. Yum!

Add the white wine plus the thyme and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

Next, add the beef stock plus salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt and pepper, and serve hot with a toasted baguette covered with greyere cheese on top.

It's the cheesy toast that makes this soup for me. The flavors are deep and rich due to the caramelized sweetness of the onions. Be sure to use a good white wine and quality beef stock. This is an easy recipe folks, and oh so good on a cold evening.


  1. French onion soup is one of my favorites! The cheese on top is what makes it

  2. This soup was dyno-mite!!! I loved it-

  3. Wow, what a nice post ! This soup looks yummy. Thanks for sharing nice post with us. I like french cuisine food very much as well as i will complete french cooking course for getting advance on french cook . I like visiting French restaurants in weekend.


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