On a cold night this is one of my absolute favorite soups to indulge in. There's just something amazing about the flavor and warmth. The melted but crisp on the edges cheese, and the salty sweetness. This is one of my own recipes, and one that is almost difficult for me to share.... but I've decided it is just too good to hoard it all to myself!
You do not have to use sweet onions, though they will give you the best flavor. I have used cheap yellow onions on many occasions. In fact I created this recipe using yellow onions, but when sweet onions are on sale I buy as many as I can to go towards a big batch of this delicious soup. It also makes an amazing meal served next to a roast beef sandwich. If I want it for lunch I serve it next to a garden salad for a fairly filling meal that doesn't weigh you down(as long as you go light on the cheese topping!).
Start by slicing your 8 onions. Once you've cut the ends off and removed dried skin layers, slice in half then into 1/4-3/8 inch slices.
Melt butter over medium heat. Add 8 minced garlic cloves and your sliced onions. Toss as well as possible while cooking. It will be difficult in the beginning until the onions start to soften a little.
Cook for about 15 minutes then stir in sugar. Stir onions frequently. Your onions may brown depending on the pan you use. My nonstick pan refused to let my onions caramelize to my liking.
Cook for about 20-30 min until onions are translucent and turn a little golden(or a little browned depending on pan). The onions will cook down to about 1/3-1/2 the height in the pan as before. Mix 1 Tablespoon cornstarch into a small amount of water and stir into onions.
Add 10 cups of beef broth
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire
6-8 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper
Simmer for about 30 minutes to let flavors come together, and to let onions finish cooking. Remove bay leaf, if you can find it.
Ladle into oven safe bowls, place a toasted piece of bread on top(I use my homemade french bread) and top with some shredded cheese. Cheese can be either Gruyere, Swiss, Provolone, or mozzarella. I usually just use shredded mozzarella as its cheap and we always have it on hand. Since this was a main course this night we added a lot of cheese and extra cheesy bread for dipping. Yeah.. we love cheese! Who doesn't?
Place under broiler(set on high) until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
It was absolutely delicious. So good that my husband came back for seconds. Apparently he didn't see the need for a bowl, toasted bread or cheese!
This recipe also freeze well. If you want to do so, I find the best way to do it is to freeze portion sizes into large muffin tins so that the soup can be popped out, then you can just pop one into your oven safe bowl and bake it at 350 F till done. It does take a bit of time to cook straight from the freezer though, around 45 minutes depending on size of portion. I usually cook it halfway then add the toasted bread and cheese(I keep french bread in the freezer for this use).
French Onion Soup
8 medium sweet onions, sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced or 8 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup butter(salted)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
10 cups beef broth
1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook for about 15 minutes until onions are soft(not cooked fully, just soft) then stir in sugar. Stir onions frequently. Cook for about 30 min or until onions are soft and turn a little golden.
Mix cornstarch into a small amount of water or cold broth and stir into onions. Add remaining broth, Worcestershire, and seasonings. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes to let flavors come together and to finish cooking onion.
To finish, ladle into oven safe bowls. Place a slice of toasted french bread on top then some shredded cheese. Cheese can be either Gruyere, Swiss, Provolone, or mozzarella.
Place under the broiler on high until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.