I have always loved French onion soup. It is made with of course lots of onions … and these charamelized onions give the soup its rich color and flavor. But there is a little more to it than just throwing all the ingredients together … follow this recipe and you can make a perfect onion soup. Oh and when you serve it, play some nice French music with it. Last time I ate French onion soup, we were at the restaurant called Naniboujou by Grand Marais, Minnesota after canuing in the Boundary Waters and they happened to play the Cd from the movie Amolié… ah total bliss…
Today, we often see this soup in fancy restaurants; however, it traditionally started out as a peasant food made with the simple ingredients: onions, beef broth and cheese. It is the perfect soup for the winter. The secret is in the preparation. It takes a long time to slowly charamelize those onions but it is so worth it! You get this wonderfully savory flavor with a little hint of sweetness. Oh and of course the ingredients. Your soup will be as good as the ingredients you use. I prefer making the beef stock at home and let’s not forget the cheese! Try to get the best cheese you can buy! I like using gruyere cheese, but you can try other rich flavored cheese as well.
Serves 8 people
- 6 larger onions (1kg) onions
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 Tbsp brandy or cognac
- 2 Qt beef stock
- 2 bayleaves
- few fresh thyme springs
- toasted sliced French bread (about 2 slices per serving)
- cheese (1/4 cup per serving)
Peel the onions, cut them in halves (Make sure you remove the first 2 tougher layers of the onions). Cut them into very thin slices.
In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onions and the sugar, stir. Cook on medium high heat for about 15 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir occationally.
Turn heat down a notch and continue cooking the onions for 40-45 more minutes or until they are nice and brown but not burnt. Stir occationally. Do not cover the pot.
Stir in the flour and mix. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
Add the wine and the brandy. Mix. Cook for 3 mintes. Don’t skip this step, it gives that interesting bite to the soup.
Add the stock, bayleaves and thyme springs and cook for 25-30 minutes partially covered.
When ready, salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve the soup in individual bowls if you wish. Add the toasted bread and 1/4 cup of cheese per bowl on top. Broil on high for 5 minutes. Or you can serve the soup in a big pot and just let people serve themselves.
Serve immediately maybe with some French wine. I used Famille Bogrier Vouvre Chenin Blanc white wine, a very lovely wine from France.