Instructables

Make Decadent & Delicious French Onion Soup

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Picture of Make Decadent & Delicious French Onion Soup
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A richly flavored french onion soup from scratch. It doesn't get any better than this! The caramelized onions give it a subtley sweet flavor. This is not the oversalted stock found in most casual restaurants. The picture is of the soup before I popped it in the oven and melted the cheese. Next time I'll use a heavier hand with the cheese, too.
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2.5 pounds thinly sliced yellow onions
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons flour
8 (2 quarts) cups light beef stock, hot
1 cup dry red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sage
Salt and pepper to taste
thickly cut slices of French bread or baguette, toasted well
1.5 cups or more, grated Gruyere (can use fontina, swiss, provolone or another good melting cheese)

Step 2: First you caramelize the onions.

Picture of First you caramelize the onions.
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Melt butter and oil in a heavy 4 quart deep, wide pan. Add onions and toss to coat. Cook over low-medium heat, flipping onions occasionally, about every 10-15 minutes. When onions are tender and translucent, raise heat to medium high and stir in salt.
Cook for about 30 minutes, flipping/stirring often until onions turn golden brown.

Step 3: Add wine...and while you're at it, drink a little, too.

Picture of Add wine...and while you're at it, drink a little, too.
Add 1 cup wine to onions. Stir, making sure to scrape the pan as it deglazes. Cook for about 5 minutes, until wine is reduced.

Step 4: Next, the broth.

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Add onion mixture and a bay leaf to stock, stir in sage and keep at a low simmer for an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Top with croutons and cheese and finish in oven.

Picture of Top with croutons and cheese and finish in oven.
At serving time, toast slices of bread in a 350º oven until hardened. Ladle soup in individual bowls or crocks or into a casserole dish. Float toasted bread on top, sprinkle generously with cheese. Either broil for a few minutes to melt and toast cheese or bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Serving suggestion

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This was a wonderful main course soup. I served a grilled chicken & spinach side salad with it. Absolutely delicious!
kikiclint2 years ago
dem french onions were on to something with this one.
crazyrog174 years ago
 where does the flour come into play? 
i made your soup last nite & all i have to say is NOM NOM!!
jakee1176 years ago
omg i made this by myself, I'm 14 it took me 3 hrs, so we had it after dinner it was AMAZING!!! you must post more recepies. EVERYONE: make this!
great recipe. authentic. bread bowl? melted cheese on a bread bowl packed with this stuff would be weapons-grade tasty.
KayaATX (author)  I Am An Evil Taco6 years ago
It would have to be a very dense bread or else the bottom would get really soggy. Perhaps a dense bread, such as pumpernickel, but toast cheese first to form a "broth resistant layer"??
slightly pre-baked maybe? It wold probably have to be a dense bowl, or a slightly more reduced version of this. would be an interesting experiment at the least.
Yummy! Looks incredibly delicious, I want to eat this right now... :P +5/5 stars.
Patrik6 years ago
Anyone have any suggestions for making a *vegetarian* onion soup?
mushroom broth. boil some mushrooms, white onions, celery, garlic. create yourself a nice thick base from it. Hell, grind up some portabellas and throw them in the water as well. strain it after it's a nice caramel color and use that instead of the beef broth. taste will be similar, yummy.
substitute vegetable broth for meat based.. wont taste nearly as good though
dbarak Patrik6 years ago
I was wondering that myself and then I realized I have a carton of vegetable stock in the kitchen. That might work, maybe with little soy sauce tossed in for a bit of saltiness. I'll have to try that.
KayaATX (author)  dbarak6 years ago
Let me know if the soy works. I prefer a less briny french onion soup but my boyfriend likes the saltier version. If it turns out nicely, next time I make it for him I'll use your version.
KayaATX (author)  Patrik6 years ago
My vegetarian friend subs vegetable broth. She does not use any soy, as dbarak suggested. Instead, when the onions are caramelized but before adding wine, she "browns" 2 Tb of flour in the onions, cooking about two minutes. Then she adds wine and reduces. The sorta "roux" gives it a fuller flavor just like beef stock or broth would.
I will look at some of my old recipes I seem to remember my grandma making hers with tomato's instead of chicken or beef stock ......it was onion soup but she had another name for it .............Looks good Kaya
KayaATX (author) 6 years ago
Thanks, thewoodcarver. I bet it adds a nice twist to the soup. And thank you, starshipminivan...it was yummy and was even better the next day. In fact, I'd say it was much better.
freakinslop6 years ago
some thyme would work well too when cooking the onions =)
KayaATX (author)  freakinslop6 years ago
I've read recipes that called for using a bit of roughly chopped thyme. I adapted one of Julia Child's recipes and she doesn't use it but I think it would be lovely. Another friend who tasted my soup thought a tiny bit of fresh rosemary would've been fantastic.
Looks yummy!