Nothing can compare to a warm serving of French Onion Soup…especially if it’s homemade! This recipe has been modified from Julia Child’s French Onion Soup recipe…you can adjust the ingredients to your own tastes.
5-6 cups of yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 quarts beef stock or beef bouillon
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
Rounds of hard-toasted French bread (1/2″ – 3/4″ thick) store purchased or homemade (Rustic Herb Bread (recipe here) is good for this soup)
1 to 2 cups grated mozzarella or 4 cheese Italian blend
It is important to know that (1) sweet onions cannot be used for a good, quality French Onion Soup and (2) it will take 2-3 hours from start to finish. Attempting to rush the preparation will leave you with burnt onions or a sub-par soup.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and oil, then add onions. Reduce heat to low.
Stir onions into oil and butter, then scatter salt and sugar overtop. Allow onions to cook down and caramelize, intensifying flavour and reducing in volume. Once the onions take on a medium caramel colour (this will take 40-50 minutes), add flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavour. (The flour will also provide a slight thickening to the soup.)
Ladle in the beef stock/bouillon (you can make your own, use canned, or a stock from paste or cubes…though homemade stock allows you to control the strength, flavour, and sodium). Stir the liquid into the onions after each addition. Once the stock/bouillon has been fully incorporated, add the wine or vermouth, if so desired. (If you choose to cook without alcohol, add an additional 1/2 cup of beef stock.) Season with salt and pepper to your own liking.
Keeping heat on low, allow soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes, allowing flavours to meld. (If you wish, at this point you can allow the soup to cool, uncovered in the refrigerator and then cover and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw and bring back to the simmer.)
Use an oven safe serving dish (if making in large volumes) or a oven safe bowl or mug. If making in volume, cover bottom of dish with toasted rounds; if making individual servings, place 1-2 toasted rounds of bread in the bottom of the bowl or mug. Ladle over the French Onion Soup (the toasted bread will float to the top). Scatter shredded cheese over top of soup and bread, and place under a broiler set on low until the cheese melts and browns. Serve immediately. Bon Appetit!