With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: French Onion Soup

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

French Onion Soup

Do you like soup? What is your favorite? There are soups full of meat and veggies that are like a meal in a bowl. There are thick and creamy soups loaded with milk and cheese. Some soups have chunks or chicken or beef  in a tasty broth. Most important is that the soup be full of flavor. It is good to have a few favorite soup recipes in your repertoire. French Onion Soup is one of mine.

 I am a really big fan of soup. I like it when it is chilly outside to warm me up but I enjoy it year round too. We are having a few days of heavy rain and gusty wind. When I noticed a bag of onions in my pantry I remembered a favorite soup I haven't made for a while. It is a soup in a rich beef broth with slow-cooked, caramelized onions.

Onion soups go back far into history. and popular as far back as Roman times. Throughout history, they were seen as food for poor people because onions were plentiful and easy to grow.

 Today's version of this soup originated in Paris, France in the 18th century. Individual bowls are usually finished by adding croutons or a piece of toasted bread then topping with cheese that is placed under the broiler until melted and browned.

Sweet onions are slow cooked until nicely caramelized then beef stock is added. Brandy or sherry is added at the end.

French Onion Soup is usually served as a first course but also perfect for lunch. Served in a larger bowl or crock with extras bread, we find it nice as a lighter dinner main course.

 French onion soup is easy to prepare. Begin with lots of peeled and thinly sliced onions. Add butter, salt, a couple of bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme to a dutch oven or heavy pot.

Cook until the onions are soft and caramelized.

Add the flour

and cook a minute or two more.

Pour in the wine

cook a few minutes more

pour in the broth, water and pepper

Simmer,  uncovered, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes more.

Serve in individual bowls topped with croutons or toasted bread and cheese that has been melted under the broiler.

French Onion Soup
source: epicurious 

2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs fresh thyme (rosemary is good too)
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
1 (1/2-lb) piece Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental (or cheese of choice in quantity desired)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

6 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins


Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes. (I sliced baguette, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and toasted in a toaster oven)

Remove croûtes from oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan.

Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese plane to cover tops of crocks, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Depending on the serving size, we had enough for a large bowl for dinner and more for a couple of smaller lunch servings.


podso said...

I love fr onion soup but don't think I've ever made it. Thanks for the recipe.

Adrienne said...

I love French Onion Soup but have never made it. Now you inspire me so I will make some soon!

Ann Thompson said...

I like just about any kind of soup. I fell in love with cream of onion when we were out one time. I like it even better than french onion. This doe look really good


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