French Onion Soup

Aug 06, 2011

French Onion Soup with lots of cheese!

After having gone on a rampage for various different recipes (small selection here), I found the following recipe on Smitten Kitchen and thought I’d try that and share the results. So, to be clear, the recipe is based on Smitten Kitchen’s.

The soup is absolutely awesome though. And even better, the whole kitchen will smell delicious while you are cooking it. To get started, grab the following:

To start, grab your onions and chop them up in strips of 4-8mm each. Not too big, not too thin. It is hard to make too many onions, so if you go a little over, no worries.

Slice onions in 4-8mm strips

Next, take the oil and butter and heat those up on “moderately low heat”. Once that is done, toss in all the onions. Stir them around to get them all oiled up. Then close the lid, and just have it sit there. This should soften up your onions (by keeping the moist inside).

Make sure all onions are oiled up

Once done, turn up the heat to medium. Now we need to caramelize the onions. This will make that awesome taste to the soup, so it’s important to get right. Basically, all you need to do is add the salt and sugar and stir the onions every other minute or so for the next 30-40 minutes.

For me it looked like this halfway through:

Onions half way through

Once the onions are all caramelized, sprinkle the flower over the onions. Before stirring, it should look roughly like follows:

Onions caramelized and "flowered"

I think using a little less than the ingredient lists calls for is okay, some experimentation is needed here. Stir the flower through for 3 minutes. Now it is time to turn this into a real soup: add the white wine, wait a little bit, then bit by bit add the stock to the mix. Add the pepper to taste, and a bit of salt – don’t over do the latter. Now bring the whole thing to a simmer, and it should look like this:

Onion soup, needs another 30 Min's

Put the lid back, but keep a small opening. Now this needs to simmer for another 30-40 minutes. Check in once in a while, if you have a film on top of the soup, skim it off. And that is it really! However, in my mind, French Onion Soup is not done without the toast with cheese. I usually use the toaster to make some bread crispy. I always put them up against each other vertically, to avoid them getting moist prematurely:

Nice crispy bread!

At the same time, cut some remaining fresh onion up in really small pieces (maybe one or two tea spoons). Get some cheese (being dutch, I used Gouda, but most cheeses will work) and combine the onion and cheese.

Combined fresh onions and cheese

After your 30-40 minute simmer is done, poor the soup in your ramekins/cups, add the toast on top, and then the cheese/onion, like so:

Soup and topping prepared

This should go into a preheated oven, put to broil. Temperature isn’t that important (200-270 Celsius), as long as the cheese becomes brown! Should not take too long, so just stay around and check in every minute or so. After that, done!

The finished product: French Onion Soup

Oh, and since you undoubtedly got left over white wine, don’t forget to serve that too!

French Onion Soup