Updated: Aug 8
French Onion Soup is one of the most popular soups in restaurants, it's cheap and straightforward to make but tastes delicious. With perfectly cooked onions and toasted bread oozing with melted cheese, what's not to love!
You may have looked over this recipe and noticed that it contains red wine for deglazing the pan. This step is crucial; at the bottom of your pan, you may find parts of the onion or herbs that stick. Using the wine to deglaze the pan or remove these stuck pieces of ingredients, you are bringing these flavorings back into the soup.
When I begin making my recipes, I like to look at what other people have done to gain inspiration. For this particular soup, some contain wine; some don't. Some want you to use white wine; some want red wine or sherry. The same can be said with the onions; some want you to use red onion, some white onion, and some yellow onion.
So why did I use the combination of a yellow onion and red wine? I used a yellow onion because they tend to be sweeter and won't overpower the other flavorings as a stronger red onion may. As for the wine, using a white wine with a yellow onion would create far too sweet of a soup; a red wine creates a more robust flavor profile.
As usual, I must put upon you my propaganda for fresh herbs. Please, do not use dried sawdust herbs in this recipe, or any recipe. Dried herbs lack a tremendous amount of flavor that could have been captured by using fresh herbs. It is near effortless to use fresh herbs. All you have to do in soups is take them out of the box, tie them together, and put them in your pot.
I have come across numerous people who are afraid of using fresh herbs because they don't know how. Don't overcomplicate this here; tie them together and place them in your soup… it's as simple as that.
Not to mention that this soup is topped with the most fantastic baguette and gruyere cheese; put your spoon past these two layers, and you'll find yourself in soup heaven!
And with my propaganda out of the way, let's begin cooking!
“The Flying Chef”
Need a beef stock that will bring together the flavors of the wine, onions, and herbs in harmony? We have just the one here!
French Onion Soup
Yield: ~12 Servings
Prep Time: ~15-20 Minutes Inactive Time: ~50 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour 5 Minutes
1. 4 tbsp Butter
2. 5 Yellow Onions (550g) Sliced
3. Salt & Pepper
4. 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
5. 1/2 Cup Red Wine
6. 7 Cups Beef Stock
7. 1 tsp Lemon Juice
8. 1 Baguette Sliced
9. 1 1/2 Cups (200g) Gruyere Cheese Shredded
1. 2 Bay Leaves
2. 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3. 1 Sprig Fresh Marjoram
1. Tie together the Bouquet Garni ingredients and reserve.
2. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan or Dutch Oven, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Once melted, add the Bouquet Garni, a dash of salt and pepper, and onions to the butter. Stir the onions to coat them in the butter, cook until soft and caramelized, occasionally stirring, about 25-30 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for three more minutes.
3. Add in the red wine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, scrape up any onions stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has reduced by 3/4th, roughly three minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to broil.
5. Add the beef stock and lemon juice and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes—season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Ladle the soup into oven-proof soup bowls and place the sliced Baguette on top of the soup. Sprinkle with Gruyere Cheese and place in the oven until the cheese melts and takes color.
Recipe By: Chef Olson Thewoodenspoonchefs.com
Did you make this recipe? Take a picture and tag on instagram at the_wooden_spoon_chefs
Using fresh herbs is imperative to this soup. You will see a night and day difference between fresh herbs and dried.