French onion soup is my all time favorite. I love the caramelized onion flavor, the toasted baguette croutons, and the gooey gruyere cheese on top. The beef broth is sweetly flavored with fresh thyme.
This soup is really tasty, looks elegant, and the base can can be made in advance, making it really easy to prepare for company. Why haven't I made this before (she says, smacking herself in the forehead)?
Thank goodness for Secret Recipe Club led by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, who works really hard to keep things going. It's a group of bloggers who are assigned another member's blog from which to choose a recipe to make once a month. We all reveal whom we had on the same day and at the same time. This was the impetus I needed to make my all time favorite soup.
My assigned blogger is Susan of Food, Baby, Life. She is raising three boys, all under 5 years old, and lives in Australia. She's actually been blogging for almost six years! Now that she is a mom, she likes to cook healthy, but I'll forgive her for that (just kidding Susan!). She also has been an avid Tuesdays with Dorie baker. Just check out her Recipe Index.
I immediately chose Susan's French Onion Soup, and I'm so glad I did. Delicious!
French Onion Soup Recipe
Serves 6 to 8 as a starter, and 4 to 6 as a main course.
6 T unsalted butter
4 very large brown onions, peeled and sliced crossways into rings
3 garlic cloves, sliced and crushed
1 tsp sugar
3 T all purpose flour
1/2 C dry red wine
6 C beef stock
1 bouquet garni (a few sprigs of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves tied together or wrapped in cheesecloth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 good baguette, sliced on the diagonal in 1/2 inch slices
1 to 2 cups of freshly grated gruyere cheese (depending on how gooey you want your cheese to be. Next time, I'm adding more =)
- Melt the butter in a large (6 to 8 quart) saucepan or saute pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and a medium golden color, about 30 minutes (I veered a bit from the original recipe here, and cooked the onions quite a bit longer)
- Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is cooked through, about a minute or two.
- Add the wine, and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the broth and bouquet garni and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toast the baguette slices in a toaster, toaster oven, or under the broiler. If using the broiler, toast both sides.
- Place an oven rack about 6 to 8 inches below the broiler and turn it on.
- Fill broiler safe soup bowls or ramekins with the soup and top with two slices of the toasted baguette. Place a good handful of cheese in each bowl over the toast and soup. Place the bowls on a baking sheet, and broil for about a minute or two, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you don't have broiler safe bowls, you can sprinkle the toasts with the cheese, broil it, and place it on top of the soup.