We recently embarked upon a mission to find the perfect french onion soup. Our core criteria: the broth should be filled with the flavor ofcaramelized onions, the bread on top should be toasted to perfection without being a soggy mess, and of course the cheese should be melted just right. Most importantly, we had to find a way to simplify the recipe for the soup.
Normally, a good french onion soup could require hours of glazing than de-glazing the pan as you caramelize the onions, but today’s recipe cuts that down. Instead of dozens of times, you only need to de-glaze the pot three or four times. For the broth, a mixture of water, chicken broth, and beef broth ended up being perfect. For the topping, we toasted a baguette to prevent sogginess, and just ever to slightly sprinkled the soup with Gruyere cheese to compliment the flavors while not overpowering. Keep reading below for our favorite recipe…
French Onion Soup
(makes 4-6 servings)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided evenly into 3 pieces
- 6 large yellow onions, halfed and cut root to stem into 1/4″ thick slices
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups water, plus extra
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with twine
- 1 bay leaf
- black pepper
- baguette slices cut 1/2″ thick (1 per bowl).
- 8oz shredded Gruyere cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Generously grease the inside of a large Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the butter into the Dutch oven, then add the onions with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cook covered for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and stir onions, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot.
- Return the pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown (about 1 1/2 hours). Make sure to stir the onions and scrape the sides of the pot after 1 hour.
- Remove the pot from the oven and place over medium-high heat.
- Cook the onions, stirring frequently and scraping the sides of the pot until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown (use oven mitts to handle the pot), or for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the bottom of the pot is coated with a dark crust (another 6 or 7 minutes).
- Once the onions are a very dark brown, add the garlic and continue to stir for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Stir in the sherry and red wine, and cook, stirring frequently until the liquid evaporates (another 7 to 10 minutes).
- Stir in the broths, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot as you do to loosen everything up.
- Increase the heat to high until simmering, then reduce the head to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes in the oven.
- Remove and discard the herbs from the soup, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, adjust oven to boiling.
- Ladle soup into the bowls, then top with 1 or 2 baguette slices. Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese, then broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly around the edges (3 to 5 minutes).
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes