Another favorite winter warmer of mine, is the classic French Onion Soup ~ made with savory beef broth, sweet caramelized onions and topped with melted Gruyère cheese and crunchy croutons. This bistro classic is popular because of it’s deliciously rich and comforting flavors.
This was the second time I tried Martha Stewart’s recipe, and I got to say my second attempt was more successful than the first. I learned the key to this soup, is the caramelization of the onions, there is no shortcut to this, you just need to slowly cook the onions until they are richly browned and sweet.
I intended to show a step-by-step illustration of how to make this soup and I did take a series of photos. It wasn’t until I plated everything did I realize that I didn’t have a SD card in my camera!!! ARGH!
The recipe below is a slight variation of Martha Stewart’s. I didn’t have the time to make my own beef broth, so I used a store-bought carton and I replaced the sherry with a dry white wine.
As you can see the color of my soup wasn’t as dark as it should be. That just meant I didn’t caramelize my onions enough. Just make sure your onions are a rich brown color before you add the stock. But surprisingly, this STILL tasted VERY good.
French Onion Soup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound yellow onions (5 medium sized)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)
2 cups of beef stock
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt & pepper
1 small baguette
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 x 350 mL ramekins
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Slice the onions into 1/4″ half circles. On medium-low heat melt the butter in a Dutch oven or a heavy pot and add the onions (make sure to spread the onions out as much as possible). Add the sugar and cook the onions until they are caramelized (soft and golden brown), stirring once a while, this will take about 1 hour. Remember not to over-stir, otherwise they won’t brown.
Add the flour into the onions and stir to coat. Add the stock, white wine and thyme and bring to a simmer. Then cover the soup partially and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While the soup is developing flavors, slice the baguette into 1/2″ slices and brush with olive oil on both sides. Lightly toast the baguette slices in an oven, 5 minutes each side.
Ladle the soup into the ramekins and arrange on a baking pan. Place 1-3 pieces (depending on size) of the toasted baguette over the soup and generously sprinkle the cheese over the bread. Place the baking pan into the oven and broil until the cheese starts to bubble.