With temperatures continuing to drop as we’re in the middle of Fall now, it’s time to warm ourselves up! A great way to do this is with soup and French Onion Soup is one of my favorites! With some melted cheese and a baguette on top, this comfort food is packed with flavor and can be a great appetizer during the holiday season.
Soups can’t be too difficult to make…right?
That’s correct! The trickiest thing with soup is that you want to try to make it ahead of time or give it hours to cook on low. While this is not 100% necessary, I cannot deny that soups get better with time. Sure, you can cook it and eat it immediately and it will still be good…but trust me on this one. Patience is key with soups.
Lots and lots of onions.
The first thing you’re going to need is lots and lots of onions (shocking, isn’t it?). I am talking 6-8 medium sized onions thinly sliced. You could even use more if you wanted to but I’ve had good results using this amount. The key is to cook these onions down on medium-low heat for ~20 minutes. Then add some salt & brown sugar (full recipe below) and boost the heat to medium-high and caramelize them. They’ll start to turn brown but they’ll be delicious. This caramelization gives the soup a ton of flavor.
Let’s turn those onions into soup.
Once the onions have finished caramelizing, you’re going to want to add the following ingredients to start forming our soup:
- Beef or bone broth
- White Wine
- Bay leaves
- Pecorino Romano cheese
Once those ingredients have been added, you’re going to want to bring it to a boil. Then reduce it down to a simmer and let it go uncovered for at least 40 minutes – but remember the longer the better. I’ve let it go for hours at this point. The soup can remain on a low simmer like this until it’s time to assemble with the French baguettes and cheese.
Time to assemble our soups!
Now that our soup base has been cooking on a low simmer for hours (if you’re able to), it’s time to assemble our individual soup bowls. First off, cut some French bread into baguette sized pieces. Brush one side with olive oil and add garlic powder (optional). Toast in the oven at 325ºF for about 10 minutes. Then add some soup base to oven safe soup bowls – these are the ones that I use. Add the toasted baguette on top and sprinkle with lots and lots of pecorino romano cheese. I realize French onion soup typically uses Swiss or Gruyere cheese but I prefer pecorino romano. Pop these in the oven at 350ºF and cook until the cheese has melted to your liking.
What if I don’t have oven safe soup bowls?
No worries at all! Of course, you won’t be able to assemble your soups and melt the cheese in the oven but you can still have delicious soup. Just add your baguette and cheese on top and eat as is. I’ve had leftovers this way before and it’s still mighty good.
Enjoy this delicious soup!
Do you see how easy it is to make some delicious French onion soup? This is the perfect comfort food that will certainly warm you up during the fall and winter. All that you need to remember is lots of onions and lots of time to cook (for best results). Great for a weeknight meal or an appetizer at a holiday dinner/party, this soup is always a crowd pleaser. Bon appétit!
French Onion Soup
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 6-8 Yellow Onions sliced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 8 Cups Beef or Bone Broth
- 1 Cup White Wine
- 3 tbsp Brandy
- 3-4 Thyme Sprigs leaves only
- 3 Bay Leaves
Baguette and soup assembly
- French Baguettes
- Garlic Powder to taste, optional
- Pecorino Romano Cheese to taste
- Black Pepper to taste, optional
- Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions. Cover and cook for ~ 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the salt and brown sugar. Continue to cook until the onions have browned and caramelized, stirring frequently.
- Once the onions have caramelized, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and stir. Add 2 cups of the beef or bone broth and deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the remaining 6 cups of beef or bone broth, the white wine, the brandy, the thyme leaves, the bay leaves, and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Optional: add some shredded pecorino romano to the soup base, ~ 1/4 cup. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook uncovered for at least 40 minutes – the longer the better.
Baguette and soup assembly
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Brush olive oil to one side of your baguettes and sprinkle with garlic powder (optional). Add to the oven for ~ 10 minutes or until the top side has started to crisp.
- Boost the oven to 350ºF. In oven safe soup bowls, add the soup base so that the bowls are ~ 3/4 filled. Add 1 baguette and the cover the entire top with shredded pecorino romano cheese. Add black pepper if you would like. Put in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden, about 5 minutes. Broil at the very end if you prefer.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!