Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My All-time Favorite Soup: French Onion!

It's been a while since I shared a recipe, so how about one of my favorite winter dishes? I LOVE French Onion soup! There's no two ways about it. It's the perfect cold weather soup. The warm gooey cheese. The caramelized onions. I love it all! Panera's isn't too shabby and enjoying it in Paris sealed the deal.

I had a few extra Euros burning a hole in my pocket while at the airport, so I promptly bought a cookbook: Love Food, Love Paris by Kate Whiteman. It's part travel book and part cookbook; sharing pictures, history, and recipes of each arrondissement.

The recipe for French Onion Soup (or Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee) is one that I turn to each fall and winter. The trick is slowly cooking the onions, letting them caramelize and develop a sweet taste. This soup takes and gives a lot of love.

French Onion Soup
Adapted from Love Paris, Love Food by Kate Whiteman

1/3 cup unsalted butter (splurge for the French butter!)
1 1/2 pounds onions, very thinly sliced
1 t sugar
2/3 cup dry white wine (or substitute water if you don't have any on hand)
5 cups good beef stock (I cheat and make 5 cups using Better Than Bullion beef base from the grocery store.)
Salt and pepper

Toasted slices of bread (preferably a baguette)
1 3/4 cups freshly grated Gruyere cheese

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions. Sprinkle with sugar and saute for about 5 minutes. The onions will start to caramelize.

Turn the heat down as low as possible and cook the onions very gently for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they don't burn. The onions will become very soft and a deep nutty brown.

Add the wine and let it bubble for a few minutes. The alcohol will burn off, leaving the wine flavor behind. Pour in the beef stock and stir. Scrape any onions from the bottom of the pan.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

Fancy Finish
Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into individual heatproof bowls. Heat the broiler to high. Float the sliced bread on top of the soup and sprinkle with freshly grated Gruyere cheese. Place the soup bowl under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.

Easy Finish
Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls, floating sliced bread on the top. Top with freshly grated Gruyere cheese.


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  1. I love French onion soup! It's so worth the difficulty of eating it with the melted cheese!

  2. mmmm this is my fave soup but I havent made it yet this winter. Will add it to my list for when we get back from christmas vay-ca

  3. OH I love French Onion of my faves!! :)

  4. Ooops! I accidentally deleted the comment from - This looks SO delicious!!

    And glad to hear there are other French Onion soup lovers out there!

  5. The pot is on the stove :) So excited to try this tasty, soupy treat. Thanks, Cathy! PS - miss you guys.

  6. Awesome! You'll have to let me know how it turns out! Miss you too!


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