Tuesday, November 29

French Onion Soup


I fell in love with French onion soup during my senior year of high school, when I had an amazing bowl of it in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Since then I've had endless bowls (some good, some bad) at restaurants but never attempted to make my own - which is silly because it's incredibly easy to make. Just slowly caramelize onions and garlic, add in beef stock and beer, and simmer over the stove for a few hours. The best part is in the assembly, which combines the soup, toasted baguette, and tons of melted cheese. This dish will transport you back to France, or in my case, New Orleans.

French Onion Soup:*
  • Heat 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven.
  • Halve and slice 3-4 large yellow onions and add to the pot. Add in a bunch of fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook to onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until very soft and brown.
  • Pour in 4 c. high-quality beef stock, 2 c. dark beer, and 1 Parmesan cheese rind.**
  • Let the soup simmer for at least an hour, then remove the rind and the thyme bundle.
  • Meanwhile, cut*** and toast rounds of baguette, then rub with a clove of garlic.
  • Place one piece of bread in the bottom of a heat-proof bowl or ramekin.
  • Ladle soup over the bread, then top with another piece of bread.
  • Cover the top of the bread with a handful of grated gruyere cheese. Repeat with remaining ramekins.
  • Place in a hot broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.****
  • Let cool for a minute, then serve.

Serves four
*Adapted from this recipe.
**I store the rinds from my Parmesan wedges in the freezer. Can be left out, but not recommended.
***Measure your ramekins to make sure the bread will fit inside before toasting.
****Watch carefully, the cheese can go from golden to burnt very quickly.