French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

It’s the holiday season and there’s no better way to celebrate it then with a hardy, rich, soul warming soup. And that’s exactly what a traditional French Onion Soup is; soul warming. This is a repost from over a year ago that I had to remake and reshare. One of my favorite recipes in my book.

I am a French Onion fanatic, any restaurant that serves it I have to try. I’ve had some amazing ones and I’ve had some that made me want to rethink my obsession. I’ve taken a few of my favorites and tried to perfect this lovely soup. Here’s my simple yet delicious take on it.

French Onion Soup

This photo was taken September 19, 2012…I think I made some improvements, don’t you?

I consider myself a French Onion Soup connoisseur. Every restaurant I go if it’s on the menu, I get it. My favorites: Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Anchorage, Alaska and its contender from Pearl Cafe in Missoula, Montana. Those were my favorites, until the day I discovered I can make it better.

That was the day I stopped ordering this out and started making it at home all the time. Just kidding, I still order it everywhere like it’s going out of style.

Prep Time 

Cook Time 1 Hour

Difficulty Easy

Servings 8

3 whole Sweet Onions, thinly sliced

3 whole Yellow Onions, thinly sliced

1 stick Unsalted Butter

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

6 cloves Garlic, grated or minced

1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped {About 5 sprigs.}

2 heaping tablespoons Flour

1/4 cup Red Wine, {I used a nice Syrah but whatever you have on hand is fine.}

1/4 cup Dry White Wine, {Chardonnay.}

1/4 cup Cognac, {I used Hennessey, but again anything you have on hand or your favorite works.}

1 {32 ounce} carton Beef Stock {Use the good stuff here, it’s worth it for the couple extra dollars.}

2 whole Bay Leaves

Salt & Pepper

1 whole French Baguette, sliced into thin crostini

8 ounces Gruyere, grated

Parmesan, grated

In a large pot heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter and add the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the sliced onions to the pot.

French Onion Soup

This may seem like a lot of onions but trust me it all cooks down to almost nothing but delicious flavorful caramelized goodness.

Cook the onions over medium heat and frequently stir to caramelize the onions. Season the onions with salt and pepper. The salt will bring out the sugars and help caramelize.

French Onion Soup 

Low and slow that’s all you need to remember in this process. It’s slow, but oh so worth it. 

This takes about 30 – 40 minutes.

French Onion Soup

This is the beautiful golden color you want. The more color, the more flavor. 

Once the onions are browned and caramelized add the garlic and chopped thyme, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir. Keep stirring the flour in until the flour taste is cooked out, about 2 minutes.

French Onion Soup

Now get these beautiful onions drunk. 

Turn heat down to low and add the red wine, white wine and cognac, stir to deglaze the pot. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook alcohol until reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the beef stock, bay leaves, and season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Take out the bay leaves and discard.

French Onion Soup

So now for the fun part.

Preheat your oven to broil. Lay your sliced French bread on a sheet pan and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil for a few minutes until toasted. Remove from oven.

Ladle the soup into 8 ramekins. Place a slice of toasted crostini on the soup and top with grated Gruyere cheese and grate parmesan on top.

French Onion Soup

The more the better!

Place all the ramekins on a sheet pan. Place in the oven under your broiler, broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve and enjoy! 

French Onion Soup

Perfect for a crowd, so delicious for the holidays!

Here’s the printable!

French Onion Soup

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 whole Sweet Onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 whole Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped {About 5 sprigs.}
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Flour
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine, {I used a nice Syrah but whatever you have on hand is fine.}
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine, {Chardonnay.}
  • 1/4 cup Cognac, {I used Hennessey, but again anything you have on hand or your favorite works.}
  • 1 {32 ounce} carton Beef Stock {Use the good stuff here, it’s worth it for the couple extra dollars.}
  • 2 whole Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 whole French Baguette, sliced into thin crostini
  • 8 ounces Gruyere, grated
  • Parmesan, grated

Instructions

  1. In a large pot heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter and add the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions to the pot. Cook the onions over medium heat and frequently stir to caramelize the onions and prevent from burning. Season the onions with salt and pepper. The salt will bring out the sugars and help caramelize. This takes about 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. Once the onions are browned and caramelized add the garlic and chopped thyme, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the flour and stir. Keep stirring the flour in until the flour taste is cooked out, about 2 minutes. Turn heat down to low and add the red wine, white wine and cognac, stir to deglaze the pot. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook alcohol until reduced, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the beef stock, bay leaves, and season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes. Take out the bay leaves and discard.
  6. Preheat your oven to broil.
  7. Lay your sliced French bread on a sheet pan and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil for a few minutes until toasted. Remove from oven.
  8. Ladle the soup into 8 ramekins. Place a slice of toasted crostini on the soup and top with grated Gruyere cheese and grate parmesan on top. Place all the ramekins on a sheet pan. Place in the oven under your broiler, broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  9. Serve.
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8 thoughts on “French Onion Soup

  1. 26 December, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for French Onion Soup – so glad I found this. Looks delish!

    1. Victoria Sophie
      1 January, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks! I absolutely love French Onion! This is a must for these cold nights!

  2. Jamie
    26 February, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Made this last night! SO delicious. Definitely a ‘keeper.’ This recipe fit my 5 crocks for my 5 guests perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Victoria Sophie
      26 February, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed! Yes, I love putting it in my crockpot as well, it just deepens the flavor so well!

  3. Kelli-Anne
    15 April, 2014 at 9:30 am

    If I don’t use the alcohols, should I substitute or just leave out?

    1. Victoria Sophie
      15 April, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Substitute it with more stock. The key here is to deglaze the pot and add flavor, omitting the alcohol and subbing it with stock is just fine.

  4. Andrea Sampson
    17 August, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I have made this before as is and loved it!! My husband raves about it all the time! But I don’t have any of the wines or cognac on hand. So I don’t want to buy all three. Which one has the best flavor in the soup if I were to just buy one?

    1. Victoria Sophie
      18 August, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Hi Andrea,
      So happy to hear you love this recipe. I used to make it with strictly red wine then added the cognac and white wine in recent recipe testing to give it a balance of acidity and color. A good red wine goes a long way but when just using one or the other I’d bump the measurement up to 1/2 cup and just omit the cognac and white wine. You don’t need much, it’s really there to deglaze the pot. Enjoy and let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers!

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