If you could only eat one soup for the rest of your life, which would it be? I’d likely have a nervous breakdown trying to choose because I love so many. Tomato, Corn Chowder, any crustacean Bisque…the list is long. But if I’m only going to eat one, it’s going to be French Onion.
I know that’s probably not what most of you would say, but I have had a little love affair going on with French Onion soup since the late 80′s. I remember the first time I ate it in a restaurant in a lovely little crock with the croutons floating in the broth and the cheese melted and dripping over the edge. How can you not love that?
These days, I’m more about the sweet caramelized onions than the cheese (I still love the bread though). Oddly enough, for being a favorite, I’d never made French Onion soup until this week.
I was a little scared to make it. I didn’t think it would be hard, but what if I screwed up my favorite soup? Of course, if I didn’t make every recipe I thought I’d screw up, I’d never cook. Sometimes, you’ve just got to do it.
I started by asking some of my cooking friends for advice. I’m part of a little closed Facebook group – we all started out as friends on another cooking forum, but moved to FB a couple of years ago to make life simpler for us. These people are my go-to group for recipes.
Interestingly enough, when I asked for recipes for French Onion Soup, I wasn’t overwhelmed with offerings as is often the case in this group. Instead, I got a smattering of ideas and concepts and a recipe or two. With a deep breath, I took their collective input and headed to the kitchen.
This turned out to be really fun to make! I’m a fan of cooking soup anyway, but I enjoyed taking onions…a sidekick…and turning them into a star. Although it takes a bit of time to make this, it was simple and the results were divine. Lesson learned: don’t shy away from your favorite foods, embrace them and make them.
French Onion Soup
(with a little help from my friends)
Serves: 8- 1 cup servings
- 2 pounds sweet white onions, peeled and sliced thin
- 4 T light butter
- 1 cup sherry cooking wine or other dry white wine
- 1-2 T thyme (add to taste)
- 8 cups low sodium beef broth (best if you have some homemade on hand)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 4 oz gruyere cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
- 8 thin slices of french bread, toasted
- In a soup pot over medium high heat, melt butter. To the melted butter add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally until carmelized, about one hour.
- To the onions, add the salt, pepper, thyme and cooking sherry. Cook until the sherry reduces by 2/3.
- Add the beef broth and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45minutes.
- Ladle the soup into soup crocks, add bread and top with cheese. Place crocks under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Nutritional Information (per 1 cup serving):
Calories: 201, Fat: 8g, Protein: 9g, Carbohydrates: 21g