French Food is known around the world for its finesse and flavour. Soupe à l’oignon or simply the French Onion Soup, is a traditional French soup made of Onions and Beef Broth, usually served with Croutons or toasted Baguettes with melted Cheese on top. Dating back to Roman times, this was traditionally a peasant’s dish though the current version dates back from the 18th century. The soup’s unique flavour comes from the Caramelization of the Onions, which often have brandy or sherry added during the slow-cooking process. If you’re in a soup mood then this French onion soup is a bistro classic, sure to satiate and comfort your senses. French Onion Soup consists only a handful of frugal ingredients – Onions, Broth, Salt, and Butter all mingled in slow magic that transforms them into a wildly luxurious bowl of silky-textured Onions in a pool of dark broth. Though the Soup sounds so damn classic, it is one simple recipe as foolproof as it is and you will surely be shocked to know how easy it is to make in your own kitchen. It’s one of the simplest yet most satisfying soups. Fresh ingredients are the basics to really tasty French soups. France has many soups in its repertoire. With a wonderful collection from clear soups to thick soups. The established French classifications of clear soups are Bouillon and Consommé. This French Onion Soup is a classic from French Cuisine, a portion of comfort food at its finest. Though a traditional French Onion Soup is incredible in it tastes even though they use only the basic ingredients – Onions, Broth, Butter, Salt & Pepper. But we can always get easy with adding some personal tweaks into it. My Old recipe book suggests making French Onion Soup along with Bouquet Garni. A Bouquet Garni is a Bundle of Herbs usually tied together with a string which mostly comprises of Parsley, Thyme and Bay Leaf. Sometimes the exterior leaves of a Leek are used to wrap the herbs together. And when it comes to adding Brandy/Wine it is truly optional. But Julia Child suggests finishing off the French Onion Soup by adding a splash of Brandy in it. But I would suggest that it’s fully at the discretion of the Cook.
- 6-8 Onions
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Salt To Taste
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper Powder
- 1 Bouquet Garni
- 4-5 Cups Beef/Chicken Broth
- 1/2 Cup Wine/Brandy/Sherry(Optional)
- For the Toast:
- 8-10 Baguette Slices/Bread Slices
- 100 -150 Grams Cheese
- For French Onion Soup:
- Clean the Onions and cut it into thin slices.
- Melt the Butter along with Olive Oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan on a medium-low flame. Add the thinly cut Onion slices to the butter & oil and saute in it on a medium-low flame.
- Once the foam from the melting butter settles down, give a quick stir and cover the pan. Reduce the flame to low and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
- Open the lid and Stir the Onions occasionally. Make sure the flame is low and onions do not get burnt. After 15 Minutes, the Onions slices would have turned translucent and wilted.
- Now add Salt, Pepper Powder and Sugar. Sugar helps in Caramelizing the Onions. Cook for another 20-30 Minutes or until Onions turns into light brown in colour. Cook this on a very low flame.
- Make sure that the Onions do not brown up soon or get scorched and stick to the pan. Onions should be evenly caramelized(browned) through slow cooking and not through burning.
- Once the Onions reach the desired light brown colour, sprinkle the All-purpose flour to it. Stir the flour until well combined on a very low flame for about a minute.
- Meanwhile, boil the Beef Broth in a separate pan. Now gently pour in the hot Beef Broth to the caramelized onions. Add the Bouquet Garni to it and bring to a boil. If using wine/brandy, add it at this point.
- Lower the heat and partially cover the pan. Cook this on a low flame until the Broth is slightly reduced for at least an Hour. Adjust the seasonings with more salt & pepper if needed.
- If preferred, finish it off with a splash of Brandy, but it is purely optional.
- For the Toast: Baking it in an Oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat it to 180° C/350°F. Divide the soup between small but deep oven-safe bowls. Top each bowl of Onion Soup with a slice or two of toasted Baguette. Sprinkle grated Cheese in a thick layer over the bread and up to the edge of the bowl. Can sprinkle few herbs on the toast, if preferred.
- Place the Soup bowls with the Baguette slices in the middle rack. Bake until the Cheese is completely melted for about 20 to 30 Minutes. Bake until the Cheese is browned and bubbling. Remove carefully from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
- In a Microwave: Divide the soup between small but deep microwave-safe bowls. Top each bowl of Onion Soup with a slice or two of toasted Baguette. Sprinkle grated Cheese in a thick layer over the bread and up to the edge of the bowl. Can sprinkle few herbs on the toast, if preferred.
- Place the Soup bowls with the Baguette slices into the microwave oven. Microwave it for about 2 - 3 minutes on high until the Cheese is completely melted, slightly browned and bubbling. Remove carefully from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.