French Onion Soup

November 25, 2014

French Onion Soup

Caramelized onions have got to be one of the greatest inventions on Earth.  Seriously, I wonder what culinary disaster must have been happening at the exact moment when it was discovered that these slow cooked onions were, in fact, not burnt but had transcended their typical mundane existence and achieved greatness previously unknown.  Click below to read more.

I'm on a soup kick lately, and I can't get enough of it.  I'm trying to bring about the seasonally appropriate weather by making pot after pot of soup, but Mother Nature isn't getting the hint.  This French Onion Soup is incredibly simple to make, but it does take a little bit of time to properly caramelize the onions.  Take you time with them.  It'll be worth the wait.

Start with about 8 large white onions, and slice them in half, then into slivers, as shown on the right.

Add the onions to a large Dutch Oven, along with a stick of butter and begin to sautee them over medium heat.

They will begin to sweat, as shown in the photo above, then kind of melt as shown on the right.

As they caramelize, they make a milky sauce, Try not to stir too frequently because you don't want to make the onions fall apart.

The photo at the bottom shows the onions in their most perfect form.  Caramelized into dark golden brown deliciousness.  It's amazing to see how much the volume has shrunk.  This pot was practically full when we started the process, and now the onions are just coating the bottom of the pan.  But don't worry!  All the flavor is now ultra concentrated  and makes an amazing base for this soup.

Add a little bit of garlic at this point and allow it to sautee just until it begins to get translucent and fragrant - don't let it burn.  Deglaze the pan with a bit of wine, throw in some broth, Worcestershire, and herbs, and allow it to simmer on low for a few minutes longer.  Don't worry - we're just about ready.

While the onions are still caramelizing, you have some time.  I use this time to toast slices of French baguette in the oven.  It only takes a few moments, so when they're done set them aside.

Ladle some of the soup into an oven safe crock.  Top with a slice of toasted baguette, then top with some shredded Gruyere cheese and broil in on a cookie sheet until the cheese is dark golden brown.

 That's it!  It's time to eat!

I'm interested to know what you're serving with your soup.  I typically serve it with a tossed salad.  Do you serve this as a starter or as a main course?  If it's the main course, do you serve anything else with it?  Respond in the comments.

French Onion Soup Recipe

French Onion Soup


8 large white onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick butter
1 cup white wine
6 cups beef broth
2 shakes Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 loaf French Baguette
Shredded Gruyere

What the soup looks like under the croutons and cheese

Directions for soup

  1. In a large Dutch oven, add butter and heat over medium heat until bubbly.
  2. Add onions and slowly sautee until dark golden brown. 
  3. Add garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant being careful not to burn.
  4. Add wine to pot to deglaze (scrape any cooked bits off the bottom of the pot) and allow to cook for a few minutes longer until it begins to reduce.
  5. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh thyme
  6. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes longer over medium low heat.

To make croutons and assemble soup

  1. Slice baguette for croutons and brush both sides with olive oil.
  2. Bake croutons in a 375F oven for about 8 minutes or until they are browned.
  3. Ladle soup into oven proof crock.  Top with a crouton and shredded Gruyere cheese. 
  4. Place crocks on a cookie sheet and then under broiler.  Allow to broil until cheese is golden brown.

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