What’s better than sautéing a sliced onion in a little butter?
Sautéing five pounds of onions in a lot of butter of course! Besides the toasty buttery caramelizing onion smell, making this soup comes with a bonus. The pungently odiferous eye-watering factor of all those raw onions will drive noisily protesting 9-year-olds into hiding. Leaving you with an afternoon of peace and quiet.
Ahhh peace and quiet. I think I’ll make French Onion Soup again today, and maybe tomorrow too.
Weekend French Onion Soup
To me, this is weekend food. Although simple to prepare, it’s about a three-hour investment from start to finish. For a special weeknight meal and a deeper flavor, make this soup on a Saturday or Sunday. Then warm it up and do the final prep on Monday or Tuesday.
5 pound bag yellow onions, cut in half and sliced into 1/4” pieces
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups beef broth (Recommend Pacific Beef Broth or homemade)
4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth (Recommend Swanson’s MSG free Organic)
1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter, salt and sugar over medium high heat until the foam subsides. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low and cover pot leaving the lid slightly ajar.
2. Cook onions for 1 1/2-2 hours stirring about every 15 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat to medium high. Cook out the liquid and caramelize the onions until deeply browned.
3. Deglaze pan with water scrapping the flavorful burnt bits from the bottom. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a high simmer. Turn down the temperature until soup is at a low simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
1 small baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
Shredded or sliced Swiss or Gruyere (Or both. Why not?)
Oven Safe bowls
1. Place the oven rack in the upper 1/4 of the oven and turn on the broiler.
2. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Remove when toasted. Leave the broiler on. (You can do this in the toaster if you prefer.)
3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Place the bowls on a baking sheet. Place some cheese in the bowls, a couple toasts side by side and then more cheese on top. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and browned.
Note: For a vegetarian version, I'll sometimes make French Onion Soup with good quality or homemade vegetable broth.
It's also quite good with homemade lamb broth in place of beef broth.
Recipe and photograph by Laura Flowers.