I think the first time I had French Onion Soup was with Susie’s mom. She had a recipe that was shared with her from a chef. It was delicious, but took many hours to prepare. Of course making your own beef stock/ broth using bones from the Christmas roast adds to the effort. Over the last couple of years, I’ve tried making a more abridged version of French Onion Soup. This last time’s recipe is the one I will repeat in the future, and is based on One Pot French Onion Soup from Damn Delicious. Below is what I did, with a few modifications from the original recipe:
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 3 pounds of onions, mix of sweet and yellow
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of wine, pinot noir is what I used
- 64 oz beef stock
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 French Baguette sliced, half inch slices
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Melt butter in a large oven-proof braiser over medium heat.
Add yellow onions, and cook, stirring often for ten to fifteen minutes, then add sweet onions. Keep stirring until deep golden brown and caramelized, about another 10-15 minutes.
Add garlic and stir in until well incorporated, another 2-3 minutes.
Add in wine to deglaze, scraping any browned bits, from the bottom of the braiser.
Stir in beef stock, thyme, bay leaves and Worcester sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to the desired thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
There are two methods I’ve done with the croutons, one is the traditional version of placing them in the soup with cheese to melt under a broiler and the other is creating a cheese bread that is served alongside the soup. The advantage of the first is the crouton and cheese is incorporated into the soup, but can sometimes soak up the broth.
The later allows you to incorporate the croutons slowly or not at all. Also the bowl is not so hot that it is a hazard for burning an individual who touches the bowl. Below are both methods:
Preheat oven to broil.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, and into oven until golden brown (1-2 minutes).
For crouton inside soup flip slices and broil for another 1-2 minutes. Add a big pinch of cheese into each bowl, fill with soup, top with toasted baguettes and remaining cheese. Broil until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
For croutons outside of soup, flip baguette slices and cover with a mixture of both cheeses and broil for another 2-3 minutes. Serve alongside soup or on top of bowl.