This post comes to you a little later than I had wanted. Forgive me as a blizzard, a brand new dog, and a sick boyfriend got in the way. Finally though, I am able to sit down and tell you about this amazing French Onion Soup I threw together for a wonderful Friday evening meal.
French Onion soup and I have always had a love hate relationship. I love the idea, and the taste of the soup, but am not always so fond of the onions in the soup. Apparently making your own changes the love hate into total love! The secret to this recipe is allowing the onions to brown and caramelize much longer than the original recipe dictates. I had read this in the reviews, and decided to follow the reviewers' advice.
French Onion soup is certainly easier than I had thought it would be to make, albeit time consuming. I would recommend picking a chilly evening night to make this soup, as it is both delicious and heart (and belly!) warming. While Jack and I were eating this, we somehow managed to sit at the dinner table for two hours! Can you imagine? I was shocked too, because quite frankly, our meals are typically 20 minutes long in front of the TV with the latest Middle episode on. Have you watched that yet by the way? That show is awesome!
I digress. Anyway, try out this fantastic French Onion Soup. You will wish you had years ago!
French Onion Soup
adapted from here
Note: I halved this recipe, and it was enough for two large soup bowls
For the broth:
6 ounces butter
8 large onions (or 12 small onions), thinly sliced
2 ounces port wine
2 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 quarts low-sodium chicken or beef broth
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 bouquet garni- I sprinkled a little dried thyme in the soup
For the croutons and cheese:
16 baguette croutons (sliced and toasted in the oven with a little olive oil)
12 ounces grated Gruyère cheese- I used Emmentaler cheese, but in the future would just use Swiss
For the broth:
In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and begins to brown. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and browned at least an hour.
Increase the heat to medium high and stir in the port wine and the vinegar, scraping all that brown goodness from the bottom of the pot into the liquid. Add the chicken stock. Add the bacon and the bouquet garni, and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, skimming any foam off the top with a ladle. Remove the bouquet garni and the bacon.
When the soup is finished cooking, ladle it into the individual crocks. Float croutons on top of each. Spread a generous, even heaping amount of cheese over the top of the soup. You want some extra to hang over the edges as the crispy, near-burnt stuff that sticks to the outer sides of the crocks is often the best part.
Place each crock under a preheated broiler until the cheese melts, bubbles, browns, and even scorches slightly in isolated spots. The finished cheese should be brown hues.