French onion soup really is simple to make. Basically you cook the onions, then add the beef broth and seasonings and simmer. This soup is famous for the slice of French bread in each bowl, topped with melted swiss cheese.
Here are the how-to's:
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.
Add two onions, thinly sliced. Sauté the onions on medium high heat. Cook until well-browned but be careful not to burn them. This will take about 30 minutes.
This is how they looked after ten minutes. I added a half teaspoon of sugar at this point to help them caramelize, but it is an optional step.
After twenty minutes, here's how they looked. They were beginning to brown, so I stirred them almost constantly to keep them from burning.
This is after thirty minutes.
When the onions are well-caramelized, add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two. Add the worchestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, spices (except the salt and pepper) and beef broth and stir. Simmer for another 30 minutes and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Place a slice of French bread in each bowl - I toast it first - and top with a slice of Gruyere or Swiss cheese, then ladle the soup into the bowl. The bread and cheese should rise to the top.
Most recipes will tell you to put the bowls under the broiler, but I don't have any bowls that will withstand that sort of heat, although I admit the soup is amazing when you can do that! So...
I let the hot soup and the toasted bread melt it for me. It does take a few minutes. Sometimes if my oven is warm from cooking something else, I'll set the bowls in the oven and hurry along the process a bit. The toast soaks up the soup, and combined with the melted cheese... Yum!
French Onion Soup
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts beef stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
sliced French bread
Gruyere or Swiss cheese, sliced
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute over medium high heat until well-caramelized, taking care to not let them burn. After ten minutes, add sugar to help them caramelize (optional). When well-browned, add the garlic and saute for an additional minute or two.
Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper) and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Place a slice of French bread and a slice of cheese in each bowl; ladle soup into bowls. Place bowls under broiler until cheese is melted.
I hope you'll give this a try!
A Month of Soups 2013:
Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
French Onion Soup
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