French Onion Soup Is One of the Most Popular Soups of all times!
French Onion Soup is so full of complex flavors and great depth, that many cooks shy away from making it. Just because it tastes fabulous does not mean it is hard to make. Perhaps a little time-consuming waiting for the onions to caramelize, but so worth the wait. Set a rustic table, pour a glass of crisp, oak-aged Chardonnay and serve one of the most popular soups ever to your friends and family. They will follow you anywhere. I kid you not.
The Best Onions for French Onion Soup
I made the full batch, but if you desire, you can cut the recipe in half, but after that first taste, a whole recipe would give left-overs and a desirable outcome.
How To Make French Onion Soup
Top left photo, I have added the Sherry and the Cognac to deglaze the pan, which means to loosen all the “fond” left on the bottom. Fond is the brownness that has escaped from the food and stuck to the pan instead of staying on the food surface. The fond is full of flavor!
Top right photo, add the wine, simmer for 15 minutes. Add the beef stock and sugar and simmer away for another 30 minutes. Done. Oven toasts the bread to a very crisp feel, shred the cheese, assemble and broil for a couple of minutes. Viola`!
Hint and Tip: Only use good wine in all your recipes. If you won’t drink it out of a glass, don’t cook with it. The wine is to add flavor and depth. Good wine – good results. Bad wine – bad results. Go for the GOOD WINE!
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French Onion Soup
- 4 lbs sweet yellow onions, cut into 8ths and sliced around 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, cut into evenly sized chunks, tablespoon size
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup medium to dry Sherry, do not use cooking sherry as it is loaded with salt (loaded)
- 3/4 cup Brandy (Cognac may be substituted)
- 1 bottle dry, white wine
- 12 cups unsalted beef stock
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (begin with one, taste test before serving and adjust to your liking)
- 1 loaf French Baguette
- 1 to 2 lbs Gruyere Cheese, shredded
- Prep onions and butter for an 8 quart soup pot
- Heat soup pot on medium to melt all the butter, leave one or two chunks not yet melted. Add onions and stir to coat. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook onions, until they turn a rich golden brown. Stirring occasionally but watching, so not to burn the bottom onions. This will take 60 to 90 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with Sherry and Brandy. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol.
- Add the wine, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, and pepper simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. The second tablespoon of sugar is to taste. If by chance the onions began to scorch between stirrings, you might find your taste test is a little bitter. If so, add the second tablespoon of sugar.
- Add the beef stock, bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400. Slice bread into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Place on the sheet tray and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the bread become crispy hard. Shred the cheese.
- Preheat, the broiler. On a parchment lined sheet tray, top with a cooling rack. Place ovenproof soup bowls on the rack, fill with soup, top with bread and cheese. Place 3 racks down from the broiler and heat for 3 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown beautifully.
- Bon Appetit`!
The best onions to use for French Onion Soup are Sweet Yellow Onions, such as Vidalias, Walla Wallas, and Texas Spring Sweet.