After a very successful New England clam chowder, I decided it was time to make a French onion soup. It’s flavorful and extremely popular, though I found my first couple of attempts to be lacking. I initially tried to make it earlier in the week, and was not pleased with my results. When I made it in class later in the week, I was still not entirely pleased with how it turned out. Not satisfied with my results so far, I gave it another shot - the third time proved to be the charm, as this batch came out pretty close to perfect. The key is simple: take your time. Don’t rush it.
Active Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Special Equipment: Broiler or oven/toaster with a broil function, soup crock
- 1 large onion
- 2 - 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 - 4 tablespoons white wine
- 2 - 3 cups beef or veal stock
- 1 Bouquet Garni
- Parsley stem
- sprig of thyme
- bay leaf (not pictured)
- leek green
- 2 - 3 tablespoons Sherry
- 2 - 3 slices baguette
- ½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Begin by prepping the onion. Peel and cut in half, then slice along the grain to form thin strips.
2. In a medium sized sauce pot, melt the butter then add the onion. Cook them very slowly, over low heat, until dark brown (but not burnt) – about 45 minutes. Stir the pot from time to time, add a tablespoon of stock to the pot if things start burning or looking dry. It’s important to maintain moisture during this stage.
3. Once the onions have darkened, deglaze the pot with white wine. Reduce the wine until almost dry.
4. Add the stock to the pot, as well as the bouquet garni. Simmer for about 20 minutes, tasting occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary.
5. While the soup simmers, toast your baguette under a broiler (being careful not to burn it) then set aside. Grate the cheese and set that aside as well.
6. Once the soup has reduced about 25%, add the sherry and cook for another 5 minutes.
7. Ladle the soup into a soup crock, then top with baguette slices. Top with cheese, spreading it as evenly as possible.
8. Place the bowl under the broiler until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. Serve immediately.