Soup’s On Sundays / Classic French Onion

Last week I decided to try my hand at French Onion after a suggestion from a friend [which are welcome and encouraged, so please throw ’em out there]. As a first attempt, I think I was at least able to meet my own expectations. What I was aiming for was a dark roast-colored broth, more onion flavor than salt, plenty of substance and a robust Swiss cheese flavor. And how it came out: hearty and full of onions, not over-salty and complimented with a plethora of Swiss and baguette.
6 large yellow onions (thinly sliced)
Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
8 cups of Beef Stock
2 Beef Bouillon cubes
1/2 cup dry White Wine
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 tsp. Thyme
Salt & Pepper
8 slices of toasted French Bread
1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time:
1 hr. 15 minutes
6-8 servings

Kitchen Utensils
Large soup pot w/ lid
Cutting board
Stirring spoon
Casserole Dish or Oven-Safe Bowls

Most logical place to start? The onions. [I don’t know about you, but I had to spend an extra 5 minutes at least waiting for my eyes to stop tearing after chopping all those onions. Thank goodness that’s over.] Cover the bottom of the large soup pot with a thin layer of olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to heat up, add the onions and sauté until well-browned, but not burned. Have patience with this process, it may take anywhere from 30-40 minutes. In order to assist the carmelization process, add the sugar and mix well. Next up, add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes.

So many onions!

Now it’s time for the stock, white wine, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with a lid and simmer for another 30 or so minutes, removing the bay leaf at about half way through this process. Taste it. Is it up to par? Here you have the option of adding salt and pepper, or for a richer broth, throwing in the two beef bouillon cubes. Or hey, perhaps both, depending on your taste buds.

Onto the bread and cheese. There are two ways you can do this: 1) individual serving bowls or 2) french onion soup casserole. Unfortunately, I do not have oven-safe bowls, so I had to use a casserole dish. [You’d think that since I have a food blog I’d have more cookware available, but alas, this is not the case.]

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Ladle the soup into the casserole dish [or oven-safe bowls, if you’re lucky enough to have them]. Using the toasted baguettes, cover the top of the casserole dish. Finally, sprinkle the Swiss Gruyere over the baguettes and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly brown.

Hot, melted and straight out of the oven.

Ladle into individual bowls and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!


~ by wintersm on April 12, 2011.

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