Get cozy with French Onion Soup
I was in denial.
After such a beastly winter last year and such a glorious summer this year, I was in complete denial that winter would make its way around again. You can imagine my heartache and near-devastation when I woke to see the first (shudder) snowflakes falling to the ground like shrapnel. I was completely unprepared for the very sudden temperature drop. Not only was the weather absolutely ghastly, but work was busy and more than just a little hectic, and my mood was getting pretty low. I needed a dinner that I could throw my soul into, and that would, in turn, restore it to its former glory.
While contemplating which tasty dish to make, I knew that I needed three things: cheese, bread, and onions (I am a Midwesterner, after all). Suddenly, it dawned on me: French Onion Soup. It had all the components I was seeking, and was hearty enough to stick to my bones without leaving me in the food coma that a lot of soups do. I quickly texted my husband with my plan for dinner and I knew that I hit the nail on the head when he responded only with excited Emojis.
If you’re a fan of French Onion Soup, this will knock your socks right off. It tastes like it’s been cooking for hours and hours and that it was prepared by the sweetest French mamie. Also, most recipes call for beef broth, but I only had one quart of chicken, and one quart of beef broth and I really think that it made the recipe even better!
French Onion Soup with Homemade Croutons
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp chopped dried rosemary
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle (I used a Pinot Noir, but use what you’ve got on hand)
- 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 quart beef broth
- 1 baguette, sliced (I used one that we’d had a few days and purposely made stale)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
- While the onions are caramelizing, cut your baguette into bite-sized chunks. Put all the chunks into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and stir until all of the bread has a little oil on them. Add a sprinkle of rosemary, thyme, or whatever you’d like. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spread bread out on the foil evenly. Set them to the side. Use the remainder of time to grate your gruyere.
- Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Dust the onions with flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Put croutons in the oven for 10 minutes, flipping bread halfway through.
- Now add the broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Serve — There are many ways to serve a French Onion Soup, but my bowls aren’t oven-safe and I don’t see it as an investment I’ll be making anytime soon. We garnished our soup with a few croutons and a sprinkling of cheese on top. Add as many croutons and as much cheese as you desire.
Analiese Riga has been a good friend of mine since college. We met through mutual friends and quickly discovered we shared a love for writing, reading, eating and projectile snarkiness. We both graduated from Bethel College with Bachelors of Arts in English, she focused on literature while I focused on writing. We exchanged bits of creative writing from time to time and her writing style always sucks me in and reflects her wild and colorful personality. Over the years, we’ve walked some strikingly similar paths. We’re both currently working in marketing, chasing the world of craft food and beer and cuddling with our cats every free moment. Analiese, her husband Ben and their two kitties, Arthur and Ollivander, live in Chicago.