Thursday, October 15, 2015

Homemade French Onion Soup - Folly of a Foody

I can't help it! I'm a foodie! But I'm keeping the weight off, just so you know. Smaller portions, healthier (sometimes) recipes. (currently at a 24 lb. loss. Original weight loss was 25 lbs.)

But I have been hankering for real French onion soup for ages now. If you've ever had the real thing, you'll not likely forget it. And what you get in many (most?) restaurants is poor in comparison. Hardly worth the calories.

But I found an Epicurious recipe which was labor intensive (relatively) but worth every second.

I sliced 10 small sweet onions and sauteed them in a big pot over medium heat in 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and a teaspoon of veg oil until they got soft.

Then I added a teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper, and cooked them (turning with a wooden spoon occasionally) for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until the onions carmelized, turned golden brown. BE CAREFUL THAT THE HEAT'S NOT TOO HIGH. You cannot rush this step.

Then add 1 1/2 cups of dry white wine and cook until liquid is almost all evaporated.

After that, I added six cups of beef broth and an herb bundle (tied up with string): 10 sprigs of thyme and two bay leaves. Bring that to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let it cook about 40 to 45 minutes until it starts to reduce. Adjust seasonings. Add two more tablespoons of butter to the soup when it's cooked. You will simply not believe how good the taste is!

Cut two 1/2" French bread baguette slices for every bowl of soup. Toast them until crisp and dry but not browned. Rub one side of each with a cut garlic clove.

Set bowls on a baking sheet. Add 1/2 tspoon of Fino or Manzanilla sherry to the bottom of each ramekin or bowl, and ladle soup on top. Put two toasts on top of the soup and cover the bread and soup with grated Gruyere cheese. Broil 4 to 8 minutes or until it looks like the photo above!

Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead (without toasts or cheese) if refrigerated and 6 months ahead if frozen. Toasts can be made without cheese and kept sealed at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  1. Too many people use chicken broth. It's the beef broth that makes it good. (And all that other fancy stuff you did)

    1. Carmelizing the onions, the white wine, and the beef broth and sherry in the bowl are all "secrets" of it being better than most. (It IS good.)