French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 4.
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Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Meltingly tender onions, meaty stock, and rich, nutty melted cheese—these are the indispensable elements that make this boldly flavored soup a hallmark of French cuisine—and a favorite of American tables, too. Take the time to make your own stock and you will be rewarded with deep flavor and savory goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 lbs. yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 crusty baguette
  • 2 2/3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese

Directions:

In a large, heavy sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, stir well, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until combined. Gradually stir in the wine, then the stock, and finally the thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, preheat a broiler. Have ready eight 1 1/2-cup broilerproof soup crocks. Cut the baguette into 16 slices, sizing them so that 2 slices will fit inside each crock. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides, about 1 minute total. Set the slices aside. Position the oven rack about 12 inches from the heat source, and leave the broiler on.

Ladle the hot soup into the crocks. Place 2 toasted bread slices, overlapping if necessary, on top of the soup and sprinkle each crock evenly with about 1/3 cup of the Gruyère. Broil until the cheese is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Serve at once. Serves 8.

Variation: For an extra layer of flavor and complexity, instead of the yellow onions, use a mixture of roughly equal amounts red, white, and sweet (such as Vidalia) onions. Italy’s fontina cheese, from the Val d’Aosta, is a delicious alternative to the traditional Gruyère cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Basic Recipe I have made many different onion soups and I think this one is a good basic recipe to start from. I use both chicken and beef broth,partially with low sodium and season to taste. I also use sliced Gruyere (prefer) to top the crock or bowl since I think grated cheese can settle into the soup not creating that crispy topper. I also use light pumpernickel instead of white bread for added flavor. I use 1 Tsp. of Worcestershire sauce and 1-1.5 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar per 2-3 C of broth or stock to enhance the taste. I also prefer Marsala wine. Cooking the onions slowly and for a long time brings out the flavor and makes them nice and soft. I think this is a recipe anyone can play around with to find what works best.
Date published: 2016-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, but slightly difficult This was delicious, except it took longer than 30 minutes for the onion to caramelize. I had to turn up the heat, but as soon as I added the flour, the onions began to turn golden brown. I used 1 cup of sherry instead of dry wine. I think sherry tastes better because it sweetens up the onion. I also added some Worcestershire sauce to give the soup a heavier bottom note of taste. This makes a lot of soup, it's impressive looking, and it's a good value.
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best French Onion Soup This is absolutely the best French Onion Soup I've ever tasted. It was very easy to prepare.
Date published: 2013-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent French onion soup This was just the perfect soup on a stormy day. Followed the recipe except left out the bay leaf. It was delicious. My husband made it as I have just returned home from major surgery. I gave him the recipe, he bought all the ingredients and we just enjoyed what he called "the best onion soup he has ever tasted". I agree with him. We will be making this again. Thanks Wm Sonoma
Date published: 2012-12-03
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