French Onion Soup. Its a serious love of mine. At first I kinda sorta hated the soggy bread and would eat around it. Scooping up the gooey cheesy and slurping the hot savory broth, but now the crusty garlic crouton is a necessity. Each part of this soup together equals harmony.
For years I didn’t ever make this soup, despite how much I love it. I’d be sure to get my cravings filled when a restaurant offered it on their menu. Sometimes Costco carries little individual vacuum sealed packets of frozen broth + tiny cheese squares. It’s ok, but it’s not homemade.
A friend not too long ago told me how EASY this soup is, and that got my wheels turning. I started researching different recipes and techniques on how to make French Onion Soup, the right way.
So- the KEY secret ingredient is to use sherry. now, I do not drink alcohol. I do however believe in the power of cooking wine (and sherry). I make sure to bring the alcohol to a high tempeture to cook out as much as the alcohol as possible, but leave the unique flavor that ONLY alcohol can give a recipe. I mostly have used them in gravies and sauces. This is the first soup, and it really will be the difference between an onion beef broth or French. Onion. Soup.
You can find the cooking wines or sherry in the grocery isle by the vinegars.
You’re going to start by sweating your onions. I like to take about 2 pounds of various onions, sliced thin.
put them on med-high heat and start cooking. Add some butter, and stir often. This part takes about 20 minutes. I like to add the garlic and herbs about half way through.
Once the onions are caramelized, I turn up the heat and add the Sherry. Staring and cooking for about 5 minutes will cook the alcohol out. Turn heat down add the broth and let simmer. I love to let my soups simmer for a long while. it adds so much depth letting the flavors mix and merry.
In an oven, on broil, toast sliced baguettes. (both sides) Shred some cheese.
Fill an oven proof cup with soup. Top with the crouton, and loads of cheese. Place back under broiler for only a minute to melt the cheese.
- 3 Large onions - or about 2 lbs of onions (I like to use a mixture of onions)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup cooking Sherry
- 2 quarts, 64 oz of veg or beef broth
- 2-3 large garlic cloves- minced
- 1 baguette, sliced crosswise
- 1 lb swiss cheese
- Slice onions thin.
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven place all onions on med-heat and allow to sweat for a few minutes.
- Add butter and sugar. (Sugar helps quicken the caramelizing process of the onions)
- Continue stirring and browning the onions. Adjust the heat if they are scorching or not cooking.
- After about 10 minutes add minced garlic and herbs.
- When the onions are a deep golden brown (about 20-25 minutes of cooking) turn the heat up. Stiring constantly-add sherry. Continue stirring on high to med-high heat for about 5 minutes. The sherry will thicken and the alcohol will be dry.
- Add broth and let soup simmer for at least 30 minutes up to a couple of hours.
- Under broiler toast baguette slices till golden brown and nice and dry.
- Shred cheese.
- In an oven-proof individual sized soup bowl or mug ladle in soup. Top with baguette and a handful of cheese. Place soups on a foil lined sheet cake pan and broil until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.