Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend French Onion Soup

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

Printer Version
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.

Soup Prep
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.

Final Prep
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.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

So that's the secret to getting the family out of my hair? ;)

Have you ever caramelized large batches of onions in the crockpot? It takes house, but you don't have to stir at all. Works like a dream.


The Cooking Photographer said...

I haven't but will next time. Do they brown well?

Krysta said...

Oh, oh, oh, my most favorite thing in the world is French onion soup! I have heard about caramelizing in the crock pot before too but have never tried it. I did try a method in which you put all the onions in a dutch oven and cook all day in the oven. It was ok. It browned in spots but were light in others. I never get very good results on the stove top though so....maybe my cooking equipment just sucks. :)

Joanne said...

That is a TON of onions. Maybe I'll make this the next time I go over to my parents house. Ward off the masses.

Mads said...

My boyfriend is going to be kissing my feet when I make this :)

How many people does it serve?
It's just the two of us, so if I make a ton I don't want it to go to waste.
Does it freeze well?

scrambledhenfruit said...

This is hubby's favorite soup. I bet this would make the house smell so good, with all of those onions caramelizing on the stove! It looks delicious!

Mads said...

For some reason my blog didn't link properly. Here it is:

Fresh Local and Best said...

I've always known French onion soup to be wonderful to enjoy during the winter time, now I also know that it is a great technique to combat rowdy kids.

natasha {schue love} said...

OMG! This looks amazing! The husband and I will definitely try this...STAT! He loves French Onion soup! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Mads this feeds about 8 people but it freezes beautifully! I have some in the freezer now.


Medifast Coupon said...

Oooh this is the perfect solution to create warmth on a winter day. The cheese, the onion , oh my! This is a great idea for a recipe to share.

Deena Mehta said...

This looks delicious!

Rhonda said...

French Onion soup is one of the best ever soups in the world! Worth the time invested!

Sue said...

My husband would be so happy if I made this, Laura! Actually, so would I! I have had this on my "list" for so long. Yours looks so good; I think it was the nudge I needed:)

Jackie said...

Looks and sounds delicious Laura!

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh my goodness. I cannot wait to try this! I have a love affair with FOS! My mouth is watering...yum!

Monet said...

So the weekend has passed, but I still think that this soup sounds like the perfect way to spend this Monday afternoon. I don't have work today, and nothing sounds better than a bowl of this cheesy goodness! Thank you so much for sharing with me today. I hope you are having a happy day!

Anonymous said...

yum! i'm bookmarking this!

Anonymous said...

I love F.O.S I can't wait to try this recipe. I have heard that for a vegetarian friendly version mushroom broth and Guinness make a good beef broth substitute.

- Lindsay

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