Oh my. This soup is amazing! Ah-MAH-zing. I’ve made french onion soup before and it was good. But this version? Yup. You guessed. Ah-MAH-zing. You gotta try it.
To make really, really good french soup, you have to take the time to make excellent caramelized onions. Because at the end of the day, french onion soup is basically caramelized onions and chicken or beef stock.
This recipe is from Anne Burrell from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food Network. With her wild hair and boisterous personality, she can be a bit over the top, but that woman can cook. And she knows the secret to making great caramelized onions is going low and slow. Yup. This soup takes time. Lots and lots of time. But ah-mah-zing soup is worth the wait.
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FRENCH ONION SOUP
Recipe from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 large onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 6 ounces dry sherry
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bundle thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 12 thin slices baguette
- 1/2 pound Gruyere, swiss, provolone or fontina, grated
- Coat a large deep pot with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover the pot and sweat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the onions have gotten very soft, remove the lid and turn the heat to just above simmer. Let the onions cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, turn the heat up, just a bit and let the onions cook for another 30 minutes. Stir more frequently, scrapping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- When the onions are very brown and reduced significantly, add the sherry and cook until the sherry has reduced by half.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme bundle and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.
- Taste. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Toast or grill the baguette slices in a 350 degree oven.
- Fill ovenproof crocks 3/4 of the way with the onion soup, float 2 toasts in each bowl and top with grated Gruyere. Place the crocks under the broiler to melt the cheese until brown and bubbly.
If you don’t have sherry or prefer not to cook with alcohol, just replace it with extra stock. Also, some liquor stores carry small sample sizes at the counter if you only wish to purchase a small quantity.