French Onion Soup

What do I think of at holiday time when it comes to soup? French Onion soup, hands down. I love the rich taste of the caramelized onions, red wine, sherry and rich beef broth. Top it with a thick piece of toasted crusty bread topped with ooey, goey melted Gruyere cheese, nothings better. It’s something you get in restaurants, but how do you make at home?


The secret is patience in caramelizing the onions. You start with a stockpot full of thinly sliced red and white onions. Cook down to a nice brown color. You can use a higher light in the beginning, but as the onions caramelize, make sure you turn your burner down to medium low or low, so the onions caramelize, not burn! It will take 45 minutes to an hour. Patience is the key.

Then add some really good red wine and sherry (make sure you don’t use that cooking sherry wine you see in the grocery. Use real sherry wine from the liquor store). Cook down to burn off the alcohol to a syrupy consistency, add some flour,  and add the best Beef stock you can.

While the onions are cooking, take any type of sturdy bread and slice. I put in my convection oven on low (about 225 degrees) and dry the bread. You can either grate or slice the cheese. If you are going to bake, and like a huge amount of cheese, slice the cheese thicker. It will nor dissipate as much when you bake.

There is nothing like French Onion soup, and this recipe is my favorite.

French Onion Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 90 min

Ingredients

  • 14 c. red, white & yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. red wine (or 2 c. red wine if not using the sherry)
  • 1/2 c. sherry
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 2-1/2 qt beef stock (or 4 qt all beef stock)
  • 1-1/2 qt chicken stock
  • 3/4 lb. Gruyere cheese
  • 1 - Baguette, cut in to thick slices and toasted

Instructions

1

In very large heavy stockpot or dutch oven, over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, stir in sliced onions and garlic. Cook until translucent; about 10 minutes. Stir in salt & sugar and cook for about 45 minutes, or until caramelized and dark walnut color. Adjust heat to medium high and add wine and sherry stirring until reduced and slightly syrupy; about 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add stock & cook on simmer for approx. 1-1/2 hours.

2

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast until lightly browned. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

3

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

4

You can also ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Notes

14 cups of sliced onions seems like a lot, but they will cook down to virtually nothing. If you have a Mandolin or food processor with a slicing disc, to cut your onions to a very thin slice, it will make the slicing of the onions a "breeze". Adapted from Julia Child's "The Way to Cook".

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