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French Onion Soup

french onion soup
French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is a classic soup, which has a stout, hearty flavor. The flavor should be rich, and the onions should have a caramelized, but not burnt flavor. There are many versions. We like one with less wine so it doesn’t overpower the onion flavor. You can also omit it if you prefer. We use Bouquet Garni, plus a couple bay leaves for the seasoning herbs, giving it a more savory flavor. It’s about the flavor for us. We enjoy French Onion Soup any time of the year, not just in the colder months, since it is perfect starter course when we make French Bistro Steaks or other French dish.

Makes 4 Servings

3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Pounds Yellow Onions, Sliced ¼” Thick (Too thin and they get mushy when browned.)
1 Teaspoon Kosher Flake Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Sugar
½ Cup Red Wine (If you omit, use extra ½ cup beef broth to deglaze pan.)
8 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
2 Tablespoons Dried Bouquet Garni
2 Bay Leaves
1 Baguette
2 Teaspoons Sherry (Optional)
8 Ounces Gruyère Cheese, Grated
4 16 Ounce Ramekins or Other Oven-Proof Bowls

Add the 3 tablespoons butter and oil to a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook about 30 minutes until they are softened and golden brown. Stir occasionally so they don’t burn.

Add the wine and use a spatula to deglaze the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook about 5 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the broth, Bouquet Garni and bay leaves to the pot with the onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered about 15 to 20 minutes until broth has thickened some. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Heat the broiler. Cut baguette at an angle into ½” slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler about 30 to 60 seconds on each side until toasted but not too browned. We use our toaster.

Place ramekins on a shallow baking sheet. Add optional ½ teaspoon of sherry to each bowl. Ladle the soup into each bowl and top each with two toasted baguette slices. Top with the cheese, evenly divided between the bowls. Place the baking sheet and bowls under the broiler, and broil about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.