French Onion Soup

I’m surprised I don’t weigh 500lbs.I promise I will make a healthy recipe… eventually. But until that time, hopefully you don’t mind eating one of my favorite meals of all time, French Onion Soup.  I just tell myself I can eat as much as I want because I am eating my veggies. HA! Once I get past all the cheese covered croutons, I get a few onions. It’s fine, just don’t over eat, go to the gym and you can eat your favorite things. Even though I am not a huge fan of working out, I would rather do it so I can eat whatever I want, especially cheese. I have to be honest with you, I am really hung-over. I apologize in advance for my terrible grammar and sixth-grade level spelling. You might think I am always drunk from the way I talk in this blog, but actually, I am a real light weight… even my parents make fun of me. I know, I know, it’s Tuesday… I mean seriously, how does one get this hung over on a Tuesday? Well…. I went to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to cheer on the Broncos as they CRUSHED the Chargers for Monday Night Football. Seriously, the best game I have ever seen live. Don’t worry, I promise a full post is on the way.

But for now, I hope you don’t mind that I probably won’t spell Wednesday correctly…. oh look at that, spell check. Thanks Mac! I knew I didn’t need to pay attention in elementary school.

Ok back to French Onion Soup. More then any other dish it reminds me of Paris. Imagine sitting in a cafe in Trocadero with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower, accordion music and love in the air… a bowl of French Onion Soup is served… my kind of heaven.

As the name implies, the most important ingredient is onion. It takes about 30-45minutes to get the onion perfectly cooked. Trust me, you do not want to rush them because they won’t ever fully cook if you don’t give them enough time to caramelize. Start by chopping the onions as thin as you can get them. It’s easy, just cut the onion in half, cut off the top of the onion, peel and thinly slice the onion from the top of the onion to the root. To caramelize the onions, heat a sauté pan on medium and add the onions with 4 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper and stir frequently. You need to pay very close attention to the onions because you really don’t want them to burn. Again, it should take about 30-45 minutes to get the onions perfectly caramelized. If you rush the and stop cooking them before they are caramelized brown, they will never cook completely and you will have hard onions in your soup… yuck.Not there yet….Keep going….Caramelized perfection…Add 1 tablespoon of flour to the onions, which creates a roux with the butter that was added earlier. When I add the stock for our soup, the roux creates a velouté, which thickens the onion soup. But first, deglaze the caramelized onions with 1/4 cup of sherry and add the onion mixture to a heated stock pot. The heat quickly dissipates the flavor of the sherry, so for flavor I will add another 1/4 cup at the end of cooking my soup. After the onions are ready, this recipe is SO easy and it comes together quickly.

You know I always like to use homemade stock and I promised you a while back, my beef and chicken stock would be used ALL the time. French Onion soup traditionally only uses beef stock but modern recipes often use half beef stock and half chicken stock. I like this soup both ways, it just depends on what you have. Because I have a bunch of frozen chicken and beef stock, I used both. I really really like beef stock so I used 4 cups of beef and 2 cups of chicken. You can easily substitute store-bought stock.As the soup simmers on medium low, the flavors blend together and the soup thickens slightly. Add the second 1/4 cup of sherry for flavor.

While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cut a baguette into large croutons. Drizzle the croutons with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. When the soup is hot, ladle into an oven safe bowl, place the croutons on top and cover with grated Emmentaler cheese. I usually make French Onion Soup and Croque Madame or Monsieur during the same week so I can use all the Emmentaler cheese. Put the cheese covered soup in the oven which should still be at 425 degrees and cook until the cheese is melted, crispy and golden brown.Bon Appétit!

French Onion Soup

Serving Size: 4 large soup bowls

3 lbs white onion

4 tablespoons of butter

Salt + Pepper

2 tablespoons of flour

1/2 cup of sherry

4 cups of Beef Stock (6 cups of stock overall, you can use beef, chicken or both!)

2 cups of Chicken Stock

1 baguette

4 cups of grated Emmentaler cheese

Start by caramelizing the onions. Slice the onions as thin as you can. Heat a sauté pan on medium-low heat, add the onions with 4 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally. Pay close attention to the onions because you really don’t want them to burn. It should take about 30-45 minutes to get the onions perfectly caramelized. If you rush the and stop cooking them before they are caramelized brown, they will never cook completely and you will have hard onions in your soup. When the onions are carmel brown, add 1 tablespoon of flour to the onions, which creates a roux with the butter that was added earlier. When you add the stock for the soup, the roux creates a velouté, which thickens the onion soup. But first, deglaze the caramelized onions with 1/4 cup of sherry and add the onion mixture to a heated stock pot. The heat quickly dissipates the flavor of the sherry, so for flavor I will add another 1/4 cup at the end of cooking my soup.

French Onion soup traditionally only uses beef stock but modern recipes often use half beef stock and half chicken stock. I like this soup both ways, it just depends on what you have. Because I have a bunch of frozen chicken and beef stock, I used both. I really really like beef stock so I used 4 cups of beef and 2 cups of chicken. You can easily substitute store bought stock. As the soup simmers on medium low, the flavors blend together and the soup thickens slightly. Add the second 1/4 cup of sherry for flavor.

While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cut a baguette into large croutons. Drizzle the croutons with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. When the soup is hot, ladle into an oven safe bowl, place the croutons on top and cover with grated Emmentaler cheese. Put the cheese covered soup in the oven which should still be at 425 degrees and cook until the cheese is melted, crispy and golden brown. You are ready to serve! Be careful the oven safe bowls are really hot.

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