A French onion soup is a mouthwatering and hearty dish that is simply the best for cool winter nights. This is probably one of the most filling and hearty soup that you have ever tested, and the melted cheese on top simply turns it into a heavenly treat. Traditionally, Swiss cheese or gruyere cheese is used to top the soup, but you may use any kind of cheese you like and make it all yours.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 4
Time required for preparation: 10 minutes
Time required for cooking: 45-55 minutes
Time required for baking: 5 minutes
Required ingredients For French Onion Soup
4 large yellow or red onions, peeled and sliced
½ cup of sherry
2 teaspoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices of crusty French bread
Salt, to taste
3-4 large cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup + ½ cup of grated gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly grounded black pepper
4 cups of low sodium beef stock
2 teaspoons of white granulated sugar
1 large pot
1 stirring wooden spoon
4 ramekins or serving bowls (oven-safe)
1-2 large baking trays
Method of cooking
1. Peel and chop up the onions and garlic cloves as mentioned above and then wash them thoroughly under slow running water. Now take a pot and place it over the cooktop. Light the flame and arrange it on medium high. Then put the oil and butter in the pot and stir the butter with your stirring spoon until it melts completely. Once the butter melts, add the cloves of garlic to it and wait until the garlic cloves turn soft.
2. Next, add-in the chopped onions and give a brief stir to combine them nicely with the butter and oil. Season the onions with salt and pepper and sprinkle a little sugar on top of the onions to caramelize them better and faster. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally for about 25-30 minutes or until the onions are reduced and turn into a brownish color and you get a nice smell of caramelization.
3. Once that happens, add the sherry to the onions and stir to combine everything nicely and turn up the heat to high. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate and then add in the beef broth and the thyme sprigs. Season the soup with some more salt and black pepper.
Now bring down the heat and simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes more. In the meantime, cut your French loaf into 8 slices and put the slices in a baking pan. Insert the baking pan into a preheated broiler and broil the bread slices until they turn golden brownish on top.
4. Now set the broiler on high and preheat it for some time. Once you are ready with the soup, put a slice of broiled bread at the base of each bowl and ladle equal amounts of the soup into each serving bowl. Top the soup with one more bread slice in each bowl and then cover the entire top of the bowls with the shredded cheese, so that everything remains hidden under the cheese. Place the bowls in the baking trays and insert the trays into the boiler. Broil the soups until the cheese on top turns golden brown and the soup turns bubbly.