I vividly remember the first time I had French Onion Soup. I was 11 or 12 years old and I was at my best friend’s brother’s Bar Mitzvah. The party after the ceremony was at The Cranbury Inn, probably the only legitimate sit down restaurant in our town. We were served the soup in the tradition soup crocks coated with melted cheese. I had never seen such a thing. I was not much for soup when I was younger, so this concept was foreign to me.
I immediately asked my best friend what it was, and she gave me a “duh” look, and said “it’s French Onion Soup.” I was definitely taken by the spectacle of the cheese melted over the bread on top. Forget the onions and the broth, bread and cheese is good stuff!
It took me a few years to learn to appreciate the soup in it’s entirety aside from the traditional garnish. Now it’s a tempting option every time I see it on a menu. It has certainly become a comfort food for me, and a half decent French Onion Soup can make for a great day.
I was at Panera recently, having my typical debate between options and I then I saw French Onion Soup on the soup list. I pulled an audible at the register and ordered the soup. Even though it was just Panera soup, it really hit the spot and inspired me to give it a try at home.
French Onion Soup
Recipe from Tyler Florence
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 4 onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
- 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts beef broth
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 1/2 pound grated Gruyere (plus I added some parmesan)
- Heat up soup pot on medium heat on the stove and melt the stick of butter.
- Once the butter is melted, throw in the onions, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook the onions about 25 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized.
- Add wine, bring to a boil and cook until liquid has mostly dissolved. About 5 minutes.
- Pull out the thyme and bay leaves and add flour to pot. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes then add beef broth.
- Simmer soup for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Slice and toast baguette (I made croutons) and serve soup topped with bread and cheese on top in the traditional fashion.