On a trip to Paris a few years ago, I had the most amazing french onion soup at Le Grand Colbert. I was in heaven. The perfect ambiance and the incredible soup topped with bubbling Gruyere cheese. Amazing. Ever since then, I was hooked. I’ve tried making it a few times. I’ve tried everything from Julia Childs’ recipe, to mix and match concoctions trying to find the perfect balance of ingredients and flavors. I finally settled on the recipe below and my husband gave me the mother of all compliments saying it we no longer need to go to out dinner to find great French onion soup! The key to fabulous french onion soup is perfectly caramelized onions, not too much salt and perfectly hardened french baguette slices for the gratinee…and a really good Gruyere cheese. But, you can use regular Swiss if you’re not keen on spending 20 dollars on cheese. Oh, and good news! I got a new camera for my birthday yesterday! So, no more iPhone photos 🙂
- 4 thinly sliced onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Tablespoons of butter
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 Cup of white wine
- 6-7 cups of Beef Broth or a mixture of Beef and Chicken Broth if you prefer a lighter soup
- Fresh Thyme springs (3-4)
- 4 Bay Leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- French baguette sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
- Gruyere cheese or Swiss, shredded. I won’t tell you how much to shred…because personally, I’d tell you to shred the whole block:) But you can put as much or as little as you want.
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
- In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, fresh thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook on medium/low heat for 45 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized. Do not stir often, or the onions won’t caramelize. Caramelizing the onions before hand gives your soup incredible flavor. It’s a slow process, but worth every minute.
- Once the onions are caramelized, add in the white wine. simmer until the wine is absorbed into the onions.
- Remove the bay leaves and Thyme sprigs.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for the baguette
- Add the broth, and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
- Cut the baguette into 3/4 inch round slices and arrange on a cookie sheet. bake until toasted, but not too brown.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Float 3-4 slices of baguette in each bowl and top with as much Gruyere and Parmesan cheese as you want.
- Place bowls on a cookie sheet and put under the broiler for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
- Add salt and pepper as desired.