This French onion soup, which is warm, flavorful, and comforting, is made with beef stock, caramelized onions, and various other ingredients. Add croutons topped with melty Gruyere, Parmesan, and Parmesan.
Nothing is more comforting than a warm bowl of French onion broth on a cold day. It’s even better with thick, toasted bread topped with Gruyere and caramelized onions.
How to make the best French onion soup
An excellent French onion stew has two key components.
First, the stock. Stock is the key to a good soup. This soup is traditionally made with beef broth, but sometimes it can be challenging to find and costly to make a good stock.
Taste the stock before you use it! If you do not like the taste of it, then don’t use it. If you are cooking a lot of beef or roast beef, freeze the scraps to use later as stock.
The secret ingredient is time.
Caramelize the onions. It will take 40 minutes to caramelize the onions required for this recipe. When the sugars within the onions reach the right temperature, a chemical reaction occurs.
It only happens when you cook the onions for a long time (adding a little sugar helps). The deeper the color and flavor of the onions, the more they will caramelize.
- Six large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds)
- Four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Two tablespoons butter
- One teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Two cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups of beef stock or chicken stock (or a mixture)
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- Two bay leaves
- One teaspoon of fresh leaves of thyme or a few sprigs OR 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Two tablespoons brandy (optional)
- Eight slices (1 inch thick) French bread or baguette
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- Sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese
Peel and slice onions:
From the stem to the root, peel and slice onions thinly. The total amount of sliced onion should be around 10 cups.
Start caramelizing onions in olive oil and butter.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a thick-bottomed 5-6 quart pot on medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and coat them with olive oil.
Stirring often, cook the onions for 15 to 20 minutes.
Increase the heat up to medium-high. Stirring frequently, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the onions, and cook for 20-40 minutes. The time required will depend on the pot, stove, and onions.
Add the garlic after caramelizing sugar and sprinkle with it.
Sprinkle sugar (to aid in caramelization) and one teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking until the onions are brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Vermouth or wine can be used to deglaze the pot.
Deglaze the pot by adding the wine or vermouth and scraping up any browned bits accumulated on the sides and bottom.
Add the bay leaves and thyme to the stock:
Add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring the stock to a simmer. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add the brandy to the seasoning:
Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. The bay leaves should be thrown away. If using brandy, add it.
Toast the French bread:
As the soup simmers, line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Preheat the oven to about 450degF and place a rack at the top third of the oven.
Brush the olive oil on both sides of the French bread or baguette. You’ll need about a tablespoon-and-a-half of oil.
Toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven.
Sprinkle-grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheese on the toast. When it is close to serving, return to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly.
Pour the soup into each bowl and place one piece of cheesy bread on top.
You can also use individual casserole dishes or large oven-proof bowls. Pour the soup into bowls or casserole dishes. Spring keeps the cheese on top of the toast. Place the toast under the broiler at 350deg F for 10 minutes, or until it bubbles up and the cheese is slightly brown.