Sunday, December 28, 2014

Savory French Onion Soup

Let me start off this post by saying that soup is my favorite type of food.  I think it's so underrated!  Why would a warm, hearty, comforting bowl of goodness be reduced to a lunchtime dish or appetizer only?!  It blows my mind because I crave all types of soup all year long, and even make huge pots of it on 80° summer days.  I'm either really odd, or have really good recipes (I'm guessing the latter).  I made a batch of my Savory French Onion Soup today, and it's seriously out of this world delicious!

One tip: make sure you have a full hour or so free for the cooking process, it's a little time intensive, but not labor intensive!

I started by chopping 5 large onions, 3 of which were sweet Spanish onions and 2 of which were savory white onions.  You can use all the same type of onion if that's all you have, but I love mixing the spicier white onions with the sweeter yellow onions to give the soup more depth.  Chopping these is my absolute least favorite part of the recipe because my eyes are extremely sensitive to onions, even just 1!  I literally am forced to wear huge bug-eye sunglasses while I chop to protect them, even though it barely helps.  Anyone in the kitchen with me always laughs heavily at this point of the cooking process...

Once I got them chopped, along with a couple cloves of garlic, I melted a stick of butter and 2 tsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  I threw in the onions and garlic, and topped them with the 3/4 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt and 2 bay leaves.  Now, just sit back and relax because these onions take about a half hour to cook down.  Some recipes tell you to wait until they're translucent and then add the broth, but I wait until they start to turn a golden brown and caramelize because this triples the flavor of the soup!  Be sure to stir the onions every couple of minutes to make sure they don't burn!

While the onions cook, I preheat the oven to 400° F and prep the croutons that we put on top of the soup before serving.  Cut about half of a french baguette into 1" pieces.  I typically cut six 1" slices of the bread, and then cut each slice into 6-8 pieces.  Throw the bread cubes in a bowl and top with a tbsp. of olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. each of salt, garlic powder, basil and oregano.  Bake the croutons until they're golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes.  To make sure the flavoring is just right, I usually I have to try 1 or 2 or 3 or 4.....mmmmm.

Now back to the soup!  Once the onions start to turn a golden color after about 25 minutes, I add in 1/4 cup red wine and 1 tsp. red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan.  Deglazing is when the alcohol in the wine loosens the caramelized onion drippings from the bottom of the pan so all the flavor goes into the broth instead of sticking to the pot!  If you don't have red wine on hand, feel free to just use the vinegar.  After the wine has cooked for a minute, remove the bay leaves from the onion mixture and add 3 heaping tbsp. of flour, stirring until evenly coated.  Let the onions cook another 5-10 minutes over low heat so the raw flour flavor can cook out without burning.  This flour thickens the soup a little bit, which I love!

The next step is adding the beef broth and stock, and adjusting the seasonings as needed.  I typically add an extra tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, and a couple dashes of thyme and rosemary for flavor.  Feel free to adjust these spices based on your personal tastes and the type of broth and stock you bought!  If you bought reduced sodium or sodium free, you will definitely need at least a tsp. of salt, but if you bought regular broth and stock, you might only need a pinch of salt.  Let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes until it's nice and warm.

I ladled the soup into little mini soup crock bowls, topped generously with croutons, and then piled the cheese on top.  I used mozzarella because it was what I had on hand, but gouda, provolone, swiss or a mixture would be good too!  

I put the crocks into the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese was all gooey and melted.  Now this is my kind of meal!


  1. I made this last night for my boyfriend and I, we both loved it! Thanks for sharing, I will be sure to try more of your recipes in the future :)
    Love and light,

    Jenna Hillier
    ig: themeasureofawoman

  2. Thanks Jenna! I'm so glad that you and Chris enjoyed it so much! Hope you have a happy new year!


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