Adapted from Martha Stewart French Onion Soup 101
Tips and Suggestions:
I usually cut this recipe in half because it makes so much. If you do halve the recipe, the onions do cook a bit quicker (about 5-10 minutes less on the first round and 15 or so minutes on the second round). You can make the full amount and freeze the leftovers, or this is great for a casual holiday get together. It is so hearty with the addition of the Better than Bouillon. While it is optional, it really makes a big difference. This is not a difficult dish, but it does take some time and care as you need to watch the onions as they caramelize to make sure that they do not burn. If you try to speed up the process by raising the heat, they will burn and ruin the entire dish. If you turn down the heat too low, they will never get that beautiful brown color. Just keep stirring, watching, and adjusting the heat as necessary. It’s worth it. I know that gruyere is expensive cheese, but there really isn’t a substitute to get that earthy, stringy goodness. It is a huge part of the enjoyment of this dish.
This soup reminds me of being in Paris. When we went, we tried to get this soup every night. We went in November, and this soup kept us warm for all of our adventures! After trying many different recipes, this comes the closest to what we had at the bistro near our hotel in St. Germain. It is so perfect for cold days and so very decadent!
This recipe calls for A LOT of onions. You will be shocked by how much they cook down as they are caramelized. As you can see from this picture, they almost fill my large stock pot when we first start cooking.
This is how it looks after the first 25 minutes of cooking, translucent:
And this is how it should look after another 45 minutes of watchful cooking when it’s nearly done, just need a little more brown and cooked down a bit more:
And here they are complete:
As you can see, they have cooked down significantly, and are a nice brown caramel color. Then you add, the flour first and let it cook a big of the flour flavor off for a minute before adding the liquids.
French Onion SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy
Beefy, hearty soup with gooey strings of gruyere cheese
1 cup of butter, (10 TB for caramelizing onions, 6 TB for brushing on baguette
5 LB of yellow onions, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 tsp sugar
2 TB all purpose flour
1 cup white wine
6 TB cognac
3 1/2 quarts beef stock, low sodium
3 TB Better Than Bouillon, (bouillon paste)
2 TB coarse salt
1 1/2 TB ground pepper
1 long baguette, sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
12 oz gruyere cheese, grated
- In a large stockpot, or 7 quart size dutch oven, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and sugar and fully coat them in the butter. Cook them until they are fully cooked and translucent (about 25-30 minutes).
- Turn heat down to medium, and continue to cook the onions, stirring more frequently. They will reach a deep brown color in about 1 hour. Adjust heat if onions do not change color or get too dark too quickly.
- Sprinkle flour over onions and cook for one minute. Then, stir in beef stock, bouillon paste, wine, and cognac. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through, about 25-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While soup is heating, slice baguette and toast each side under the broiler. Melt the remaining butter and brush on top of baguette slices.
- Divide soup into ovenware crocks, top with baguette slices and grated cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly and melted. Serve immediately.
- You may store remaining soup (without bread and cheese) in the refrigerator for up to five days, or freeze. The sliced and toasted bread will stay fresh in a ziptop bag for up to five days.
- You can halve the recipe as this makes a very large pot of soup. If you do, the onions will caramelize in a slightly shorter amount of time. Keep watching until they look like the pictures.