I recently endeavored to learn how to make French onion soup before the winter was complete. Apparently I didn’t need to rush because we just had an ice storm yesterday. Yes, this is weird for North Carolina. Proof: today it is 65 degrees. So, I decided it wasn’t too late to post this delicious recipe, in case those of you with extended winters (unusual or not) would like to make French onion soup before it warms up too much outside.
While I searched and searched for the best French onion soup recipe, I noted the major differences between most recipes. Some use one type of onion, while others use 2-3 types. Also, some use either white wine & chicken stock or red wine & beef stock. I decided to opt for a hearty flavor in my French onion soup: 3 types of onions, red wine & beef stock it is! I also noticed that the traditional way of serving it was topped with French bread and Swiss cheese. I altered these to fit my tastes–Gruyère cheese and sourdough bread.
-2 tbsp butter
-2 large Vidalia sweet onions, chopped
-2 medium yellow onions, chopped
-2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
-48 oz beef stock (1 1/2 boxes if using Swanson; homemade preferred)
-1 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
-2 bay leaves
-1 tbsp thyme
-salt & pepper
-sourdough bread (not sandwich bread; in the store bakery section)
-shredded Gruyère cheese
- Heat Dutch oven to medium and melt butter. Add in the onions and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Do not stir the onions too often. You want them to stick to the bottom and make yummy brown bits. It takes at least 30 minutes to caramelize onions–don’t try to rush this step!
- Scraping up the brown bits, pour in the red wine and stock. Add the bay leaves & thyme. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- While simmering, place the sourdough slices topped with Gruyère into the broiler to toast. Once finished, remove from oven & cut into bite-sized cubes.
- Remove the bay leaves from the soup. Pour soup into bowl, topping with cheesy sourdough bites & fresh parsley.