A savory and warm french onion soup flavored with garlic, red wine, sweet Spanish onions, and topped with a crisp baguette and melted white cheese.
French onion soup is one of my husband’s favorite dishes. I have been making this fare for John since our first years together as a couple. It was about a decade ago when I learned to make this dish for him. If I remember correctly, it was is his birthday, and as usual, he asked me to cook something for him as a unique gift. Well, it just so happened, we had recently gone out for dinner, and he raved about a french onion soup he ate at a local restaurant.
I had never eaten, let alone made, French onion soup. Therefore, I had no clue how it should taste. I was stepping out of my comfort zone for this one. Moreover, I had just started cooking so I was pretty much a novice in the kitchen. I began doing my research and looking for highly rated soup recipes. When I finally found a good recipe, I started modifying it immediately to matches John’s tastes.
John hates food that has an overly salted flavor. He is a sweet-toothed man. With that knowledge, I was able to develop a blend of sweet and savory that he loved. In the end, this recipe has gone from a special meal to mainstay in his diet. Whenever I am making soup, he also requests this dish. Which, I don’t mind cooking because it’s a simple soup to prepare and doesn’t take forever to cook. So, if you are looking for a flavorful and straightforward dish, then this French onion soup is for you.
Preparing the French onion soup is a pretty simple process. First, slice the onions into thin slices using a knife. Alternatively, if you have a food processor with a slicing attachment, you can also use that and save yourself some tears. Next, place the butter, onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in a large pan. Then, heat the mixture over low-medium heat. Cook until onions are soft, translucent, and begin to caramelize. The cooking process may take about 20-25 minutes.
Once the onions are cooked, dust the mixture with flour and stir to combine. Ensure you cook the concoction for 5-7 minutes, so raw flour flavor is cooked out. Afterward, add the wine and stir the soup base. Cook the base for an additional 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce some, but should not completely evaporate. After the alcohol evaporates from the wine, pour in the beef broth.
At this point, you pretty much have the soup done. Continue to stir the combination of ingredients until it boils. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
While the soup cooks, place the sliced baguette(s) in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted. After that, pour the soup into oven-safe bowls and top with a piece of toasted bread. Lay a slice of cheese over each piece of bread and place the bowls on a baking sheet or baking pan.
Lastly, place the baking sheet or pan in the oven and turn on the broiler just long enough to cause the cheese to bubble and begin to brown. Carefully remove the soup from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. The soup should hold for up to 3 days in a sealed container in your fridge.
Used in this Recipe:
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 white or Spanish onions, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 32 ounces beef broth
- Baguette, sliced in circular pieces
- Sliced or shredded white cheese of your choice (We used provolone.)
Place butter, onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in a large pan and heat over low-medium heat. Cook until onions are soft, translucent, and begin to caramelize (about 20-25 minutes).
Dust the mixture with flour and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes to cook out raw flour flavor.
Add wine and stir so onions and wine are mixed. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce some but should not completely evaporate.
After the alcohol evaporates from the wine, pour in the beef broth. Stir to combine and bring to boil. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 stirring occasionally.
While the soup cooks, place sliced baguette in the oven on 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until bread is toasted.
Pour soup into oven-safe bowls and top with a piece of toasted bread. Lay a slice of cheese over each piece of bread, and place the bowls on a baking sheet or baking pan.
Place the baking sheet or pan in the oven and turn on the broiler just long enough to cause the cheese to bubble and begin to brown. Carefully remove the soup from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.