Why wait to go to a restaurant to order French Onion Soup, when you can easily make it at home? This classic bistro dish is filled with melt in your mouth onions covered in tasty homemade broth and topped off with toasted french bread and aged gruyere cheese.

Classic French Onion Soup

If you can’t find gruyere cheese at your local market, you can substitute swiss or provolone.  We found it on the refrigerated shelf next to the hard cheeses – Parmesan, Reggianno, Asiago, etc…  Honestly, it is worth the extra effort to find it at all possible. The creaminess and classic bubbly texture it provides during broiling adds so much flavor and texture to this soup.

Once you taste this classic French Onion Soup Recipe, you’ll never try another. In fact, it tastes so good you may even be called a gourmet chef by those who enjoy it with you!

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

Gruyere cheese can be hard to find, but it adds the classic taste to the soup.
Gruyere cheese can be hard to find, but it adds the classic taste to the soup.
I prefer to use an even combination of yellow and red onions.
I prefer to use an even combination of yellow and red onions.
Using a mandolin makes slicing the onions a little less tear jerking
Using a mandolin makes slicing the onions a little less tear jerking
Place onions in a large dutch oven or pot with melted butter to caramelize.
Place onions in a large dutch oven or pot with melted butter to caramelize.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 large yellow and 2 large red onions peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (click here to learn how to make your own broth)
1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup dry red or white wine
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper
1 French bread loaf, cut on an angle into 3/4-inch slices*
4 1/2 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese, sliced 1/16-inch thick
3 ounces Asiago cheese, grated

*Slice the bread on an angle to give you more surface area. Depending on the size of the bread loaf and the size of your serving dishes, you will need 6-12 slices. You want the whole surface of your soup covered.

Instructions:

1. Cut the onions in halve lengthwise and peel away the dried skin. Cut the onions into 1/4-inch slices. It is important to have all the onion slices roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

The onions will begin to turn brown and the bottom of your pan will develop a dark crust.
The onions will begin to turn brown and the bottom of your pan will develop a dark crust.

2. Melt butter in large Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to coat onions thoroughly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduce and caramelized (approximately 30 minutes). The inside of pot will be coated with very deep brown crust.

3. Stir in chicken and beef broths, wine, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Simmer to blend flavors, approximately 30 minutes.

Add the liquid and herbs - cooking for another 30 minutes.
Add the liquid and herbs – cooking for another 30 minutes.

4. Remove herbs and discard. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.

*The soup can now be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To use, return to simmer before finishing soup with bread and cheese.

Slice the bread on an angle to give you enough surface area to cover the mouth of your bowl.
Slice the bread on an angle to give you enough surface area to cover the mouth of your bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

5. While the soup simmers, arrange the bread slices in single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes (watch carefully so they don’t burn). Set aside.

6. When ready to serve the onion soup, adjust oven rack to upper middle position; heat the broiler.

When adding the bread and cheese make sure to cover the entire surface.
When adding the bread and cheese make sure to cover the entire surface.
Gruyere cheese added to the top of the crock, overhanging for the perfect french onion soup.
Gruyere cheese added to the top of the crock, overhanging for the perfect french onion soup.

7.  Using fairly deep, oven- and broiler-safe serving bowls/crocks,  Place on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 1/2 cups soup. Top each bowl with toasted bread slices – covering the entire surface of the soup, but do not overlap the bread. Divide cheese slices, laying them in a single layer on top of the bread,  over­lapping the edge of the dish. Make sure to cover the entire dish with cheese.

8. Sprinkle the top of each with about 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese. Place the bowls into the oven, about 5 to 6 inches from the broiler and broil until cheese is bubbly and begins to turn brown (about 10 minutes).

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim



French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 stick
  • 2 large yellow and 2 large red onions peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth click here to learn how to make your own broth
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry red or white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 French bread loaf cut on an angle into 3/4-inch slices*
  • 4 1/2 ounces Gruyere or Swiss cheese sliced 1/16-inch thick
  • 3 ounces Asiago cheese grated

Instructions

  1. Cut the onions in halve lengthwise and peel away the dried skin. Cut the onions into 1/4-inch slices. It is important to have all the onion slices roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. Melt butter in large Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to coat onions thoroughly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduce and caramelized (approximately 30 minutes). The inside of pot will be coated with very deep brown crust.
  3. Stir in chicken and beef broths, wine, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, scraping pot bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Simmer to blend flavors, approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Remove herbs and discard. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. While the soup simmers, arrange the bread slices in single layer on a baking sheet and bake until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes (watch carefully so they don't burn). Set aside.
  7. When ready to serve the onion soup, adjust oven rack to upper middle position; heat the broiler.
  8. Using fairly deep, oven- and broiler-safe serving bowls/crocks, place on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 1/2 cups soup. Top each bowl with toasted bread slices - covering the entire surface of the soup, but do not overlap the bread. Divide cheese slices, laying them in a single layer on top of the bread, over­lapping the edge of the dish. Make sure to cover the entire dish with cheese.
  9. Sprinkle the top of each with about 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese. Place the bowls into the oven, about 5 to 6 inches from the broiler and broil until cheese is bubbly and begins to turn brown (about 10 minutes).

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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