Hello, Hello, Hellooooo! Okay, let’s chat French Onion soup. If you are not a fan of French Onion soup, maybe you’ve never had really good French Onion soup. Which I am here to help solve that problem. At least the issue of not having really good French Onion soup. This recipe is actually super easy, with minimal ingredients. It will just behoove you to take the time allotted for caramelizing the onions. Which isn’t a quick feat, but 100% worth it!!
Funny story about how I ended up making this soup in the first place. There is a movie out called, “Chef”. It is written, directed and starring Jon Favreau. (Brief synopsis, bare with me…) When Jon was looking for insight and knowledge about being a chef for said movie, he reached out to Roy Choi. (know as one of the founders of the gourmet food truck movement) Roy Choi’s response was I will teach you everything I know, but you have to portray exactly what I teach you in the scrip. Basically telling Jon that he has to portray a “real” chef, not a “Hollywood” chef! Long story short, GREAT MOVIE! And because of the movie, Jon and Roy have a spinoff Netflix show called “The Chef Show”! I find it to be a fun and entertaining cooking show. The show runs about 20 minutes long, and these shows are usually what my husband and I watch right before bed. We go to bed hungry every night! Well, one of the shows, Roy choose French Onion soup to make. Both my husband and I said “mmmm, French Onion soup!” And while watching them make it, I realized how easy it was, and impressed by how few ingredients go into it. So again, I went to bed with food on my mind and thinking, “I am making that tomorrow!” I woke up the next morning and hunted down some soup ramekins because I don’t own any. I found this shocking! And my hubby should be impressed that I didn’t buy any but borrowed some, (thank you Rose) then bought a bag of onions. And the rest is history!
Alright, the onions! The star of this recipe! And not just any star, it’s a DIVA! As in you are going to cook these onions for an hour to an hour and a half. Or, mine took 2 hours. You have to give them their time to shine! I planned for one hour when I started, figured if it took longer that’s okay, eat a little later. But as an hour and a half went by, I was fully committed to this meal and I wasn’t going to give in and mess it up now. I did end up turning the heat up a little more after the 1.5 hours went by, but not a lot. This is a slow process and the caramelizing of the onions is key. And you will taste the difference in onions that have been caramelized this long compared to my usual 30 minute cook time.
Now, I’ve told you how much I love, The Chef Show. And I wish they were better at putting up their recipes online, but they are not! (Come on guys… let’s get it together!) So after reading quite a few recipes, I found a huge difference in onion cook time and ingredients. I finally came across someone that did what I was going to do, watch the show, and do my best to figure out some measurements. A huge THANK YOU to Lauren at Maritime Glutton for doing the leg work!! Well done, came out delicious! Feel free to watch the French Onion soup episode on The Chef Show, obviously I recommend it. If not, here are my onions and how they progressed as a helpful visual.
I really hope you try and make this recipe! I isn’t a meal we will have often because we don’t eat super rich foods often. But it makes for a wonderful treat once in a while.
Share your thoughts, photos and comments. It all appreciated!!
Cheer to Happy Meals and Enjoy!! ~Jeanne
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- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6-8 yellow onions or Spanish
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tbsp salt less or more to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 oz Brandy
- 2-3 tbsp flour
- 64 oz beef broth homemade preferred
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce optional
- 2 tbsp tomato paste optional
- 1 loaf of crusty sourdough bread
- olive oil
- 1-2 whole clove(s) garlic
- 6 slices provolone cheese
- 6 slices emmantel cheese or swiss cheese
- 6 slices gruyer cheese
- shredded parmesan cheese freshly grated best
- In a large stock pot on medium low, add onions. (onions will cook down a lot, but you need room to stir onions as they cook) Let onions get warm, 2-3 minutes, stirring as they warm.
- Add room tempurature butter and stir into onions as the butter melts.
- Feel free to add a little more butter if bottom of pot seems kind of dry. You don't want a pool of butter but a little juice as you are stirring the onions is good.
- Sprinkls onions with a nice big pinch of salt, and stir.Your going to let the onions cook on meduim-low for and hour to hour and a half. Stirring occasionally.
- While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 350° and slice up the loaf of sourdough. Depending on the size of the loaf, you want the bread to fit into the top of your bowls. One piece might be fine or maybe one and half works to cover the top.Once bread is cut, place on a rimmed cookie sheet, and generously coat with olive oil, on both sides.
- Bake about 15 minutes depending on oven. Flippinf half way through. You want a nice golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Once the bread is cool enough to touch, take your peeled clove of garlic, and rub it across the top of each of the slices of bread. Set aside.
- Once the onions have reduced significanlty, we are looking to get them to caramelize. Which is a nice brown color with some brown residue on the bottom of the pan.When you have that, take your 1-2 tbsp of flour and add it to the onions and incorporate.
- Then add the Brandy and deglaze the bottom of the pot. (with a wooden spoon, use the brandy to scrape of some of or most of the brown residue that built up)Once Brandy is soaked into the onions, add in the broth. If you're not useing homemade broth, it is recommended to add the worcetershire sauce and tomato paste to get the added flavour. Simmer for 15 minutes until it is slightly thicker and reduced a little. Taste and see if you need a little more salt and pepper.
- Turn your oven to broil and have rack in the lower middle part of the oven. You want the cheese to melt and brown a little. If it is too close to the top the cheese will burn. Once the soup is at desired taste and consistency, place a serving into oven safe bowls. Top with 1-2 sliced of sourdough toast, and layer with cheeses (gruyer, emmantel, provolone and parmesean) and place bowls on a rimmed cookie sheet for easier handeling of getting the bowls in and out of the oven. Place in oven for 5 minutes, checking so that it doens't burn. You want the cheese to melt, bubble and brown. Remove carefully from oven. Let set for a few minutes. Bowls will be hot! I place my bowl on a small plate to serve. Enjoy!!