Monday, July 30, 2012

Soupe á L'Oignon

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant. It's because of the ooey gooey cheese melted over the bowl and the rich sweet and savory broth underneath. It always seemed so difficult to make for some reason. But, then I learned how (in Paris, of course), and it's like most French dishes: few ingredients, maximum amount of flavor, and not very complicated.

I had a ton of onions one week and I don't like them raw. Cooked only, please!

Onion soup sounded like a great solution to my overabundance-of-onions issue. I also had chicken stock in my fridge that needed to be used, and a bottle of white wine that I was opening to preserve my garlic cloves. So, I decided, even though it was not going to be a traditional onion soup, to do it anyway. Because, you see, onion soup is made with beef stock and red wine. I'm such a rebel.

So, here's how it's done (if you want the real deal, then please, please, please, use red wine and beef stock instead!):

First, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot or dutch oven. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and sautee for a few minutes on medium heat.

Add 3 sliced yellow onions, and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until they look brown and soft, as pictured above.

Then add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir to coat the onions. After than cooks a few minutes (to get rid of the raw flour taste), add about 1 cup of wine. To the pot, add about 8 cups (2 quarts) of stock. Let it simmer for 30 minutes to thicken a little bit.

In the meantime, prepare the cheesy toast. Use any type of bread - crusty French bread is the best - and toast it in a toaster or in an oven...or in a toaster oven! Traditionally, you can ladle the soup in an oven-safe bowl and top it with toast and grated cheese (ideally, gruyere, but if you can't find it - like me that day, you can use any melty white cheese. I used Asiago. Not perfect, but it worked). Stick it under a broiler until it melts...and voila! Soupe a l'oignon!!

I cheated and toasted the bread in the toaster, put it on a plate, topped it with cheese, and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I plopped it on top of the hot soup and served it up. That works too. Top, pop, plop. Haha. I think I'm reaching my silly hour. I'll leave you here. Bon appetit!

p.s. The substitutions were ok. It tasted better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, but it wasn't bad with chicken stock and white wine, just not authentic!


  1. Mmmm! All I want is onion soup now! I've never made it before, so just curious, what type of red wine would you recommend?

    1. Like with any recipe, the general rule is that you should use what you would drink. If it tastes good to you in a glass, then it will taste good in a dish. I like Charles Shaw (Trader Joe's) Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. Any inexpensive but decent tasting wine will work for cooking. Hope you try it soon!