So I have been practicing my soup making skills. A dish that seems to be simple, I have always had a hard time getting the perfect flavor. So, like anything, practice makes perfect. This week I tried one of my favorite soups to order out: French Onion. The way the cheese chars over the sides of the crock and encases all the yummy sweet and tangy onion flavor is a staple in any pub. With a little deconstructing skills, here’s my take on restaurant style French Onion Soup.
French Onion Soup
The trick to perfect onions for this soup is to cook them low and slow. This allows them to sweeten as opposed to char making them a much more savory soup base.
6 sweet onions, sliced into strips
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied with butcher’s twine
2 dried bay leaves
2 32-ounce containers beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of french bread, about 1/4 inch thick
8 thick slices of provolone cheese (some people like Swiss, whichever you prefer is fine!)
A dash of each Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper (for your “croutons”)
Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Drizzle with EVOO and add the onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until golden and translucent, about 30-40 minutes. Like I said, low and slow is worth the wait! Remove the thyme and bay leaves. Add the beef broth and let simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Place the french bread on a baking sheet and drizzle both sides with EVOO. Season both sides liberally with season mixture. Place under the broiler, about 1 minute on each side, until golden around the edges.
Ladle soup into 4 crocks. Float a piece of toasted french bread in each and top with 2 slices of cheese each. Broil until the cheese bubbly and crisp. Enjoy!
To save time during the week, cook your onions over the weekend and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use. You can also add a little sherry when serving, it gives the soup a little something extra 😉 Not only is this a great dish that the whole family will love, but it’s also impressive enough to serve at a dinner party with friends! I love the way these classic brown crocks look but kitchen bowls will work just as well. Stay winter warm!
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian