One of Matt’s favorite things, so of course we need to have a go-to recipe for french onion soup. I went shopping after work Dec 30th to make dinner on the 31st. Much to my shock and absolute horror, they were out of baguettes! In a panic, I swirled into the frozen food section and found these par baked baguettes made by Le Petite Francais. I recently listened to an America’s Test Kitchen podcast about the best frozen dinner rolls they found. Of course they were NOT the par baked but fully baked ones. Alas, I had any other choices. So, into the cart, and my oven, they went.*
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 sweet/vidalia onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup red wine (recipe in link says about 1/2 a bottle but that math just doesn’t add up. I used a little over a cup and I don’t think I needed it all. Also, and more importantly, don’t use the Cabernet someone brought to your house that you haven’t tried before)
- 3 Tablespoons AP Flour
- 2 quarts beef broth
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
- Salt & Pepper
- Melt the stick of butter in a large pot, I used our dutch oven, over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt & pepper, and cook the onions until they are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
- Add the wine, bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry. (The original recipe said about 5 minutes but it took me considerably longer.)
- Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Dust the onions with the flour and stir. Turn the heat to medium low so the flour doesn’t burn and cook for 10 minutes, cooking out the raw flour taste.
- Add the beef broth, bring back to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Season to taste w/salt & pepper.
- And now, for the exciting part – cheese melting!
- Preheat the broiler. You can either arrange the baguette slices sprinkled with cheese on a baking sheet then top the soup, or place 2-3 slices of bread on top of the soup, add cheese, and put the bowls under the broiler. I also put the bowls on a baking sheet too, for easy handling.
- Try not to burn your mouth – I seem to skip this step! Enjoy!
* They kind of reminded me of the bread sticks at Olive Garden. Do with that information what you want.