Those caramelized onions of Alice’s made me drool. They looked so good! That inspired me to make French onion soup. It’s definitely one of my favorite soups and it’s such a classic. Julia Child was known for her onion soup recipe and it just so happens that this week would have been Julia’s 100th birthday. I also have my Dad’s Julia Child cookbook which is such a treasure. So I pulled out the book and dove in.
This recipe is simple if you follow the recipe, especially if you read Alice’s post first. She will guide you along in the onion caramelizing process. It’s not a quick recipe, but it makes your house smell really good and is just the thing to make on a nice cool day with friends. ESPECIALLY with friends.
First chop up onions.
Then over medium low heat, melt butter and add to it some oil and then the whole batch of chopped onions.
Cover and let the onions sweat over medium low heat for 15 minutes
Then remove the cover, add the salt and sugar and increase the heat. Cook for another 30-40 minutes at medium heat, stirring frequently.
While the onions are cooking, grate about four ounces of Swiss and two ounces of Parmesan cheese.
When the onions are dark and nicely caramelized, add the flour and stir constantly for three minutes. Do as I say and not as I do on this one, as my onions were not dark enough. I was concerned with watching the clock and didn’t let them get as dark and richly caramelized as they should have.
Add one cup of the broth and stir until it is all incorporated into the flour and onion mixture. Then add the rest of the broth and the wine all at once, toss in the bay leaf and turn the heat down to medium low again and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust for salt and pepper.
While the soup is simmering, cut a baguette into thin slices, put onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is crisply toasted.
Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls, sprinkle a little of the grated cheese, top with a few of the slices of the toasted baguette and top with a 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly and toasted.
We had a nice little dinner party with our soup, we started with Ina Garten’s Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta,
then served dinner with these gorgeous multicolored beets, topped with a light vinaigrette
Where will you take us now, Alice??
French Onion Soup
5-6 cups yellow onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
6 cups beef stock or 3 beef stock and 3 chicken stock
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat a heavy, oven-safe stock pot over medium low heat and add the butter and oil to the pot. Stir the sliced onions into the oil/butter mix, ensuring they are evenly coated. Cover the stock pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, checking to make sure they aren’t burning. The onions should be translucent and tender once finished. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the sugar and salt. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for another 30-40 minutes until the onions are thoroughly browned (or just follow Alice’s recipe for Caramelised Onions).
Reduce heat to medium low and stir in the flour. Cook for three minutes until flour forms a thick paste. Stir in one cup of beef stock until fully combined. Add the rest of the stock, wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice enough baguette to have enough to float in each bowl, approximately 4-6 slices. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet into the oven. Let it toast for 5-7 minutes until the bread is crusty.
Taste the soup, adjust for seasonings and remove the bay leaf.
Ladle the soup into 4-6 oven proof bowls, sprinkle a little of the grated Swiss cheese into the soup, place one of the toasted bread slices on top of the soup and cover with ¼ cup of cheese, using the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses.
Place bowls onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling. Then turn on the broiler and brown the cheese for 3-5 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and let the bowls cool for a few minutes. Serve.