Yayy! Its thanksgiving time! Time for some exciting desserts and other recipes too! To start with, the first on the list is soup. Winters always makes us lazy and crave for something warm and comfortable, especially food. So, who is ready for a cozy bowl of French onion soup?
Perfectly caramelized onions flavored with broth (traditionally beef) and a hint of wine and mild spices is the best crowd pleaser for this thanksgiving! The best part of the soup is yet to come. Those toasted baguette slices or croutons with melting gruyere or even mozzarella cheese is the most amazing part of the soup.
The name –French onion soup can be intimidating for many. Fear not, because this soup is extremely simple and includes only a few and basic ingredients. To start off with, onions are an important part of this soup recipe.
So, which onions to choose from – yellow, white or red! To be speaking in fairness, I have used only red onions because of the unavailability of white or yellow onions here in my place. But, the original recipe calls for yellow onions. But, you can replace it with any type available- red or white!
White onions tend to be sweet whereas the red onions have a very sharp taste. Yellow onions are perfect for any type of cooking especially ones that involve caramelizing. Now, to make this French onion soup, the main step is to caramelize onions slowly in butter. This step brings out most of the flavors in the soup!
So, how to caramelize onions? This requires plots of patience because you have to take it low and slow. This is the most crucial part. It is very important to cook the onions in a low heat because you do not want the onions to get burnt. Also, taking it slow means that the sugar in the onions tend to melt and gives it the natural and beautiful golden color. That’s the whole point right?!
Browning the onions is different from caramelizing it. So, if you rush the process then the real flavors will not be brought out. Also, another thing is to stir it to again make sure that it does not burn. Do not neglect them and walk away from the stove while doing this. Oh, come-on! A French onion soup without perfect caramelized onions is nothing, right?!
Back to the ingredients, one other important ingredient which cannot be substituted is butter. For that perfect flavor, butter is very important. At the end, flavor is all that matters right?! So, do not skip it or replace it!
Next, to deglaze, we use wine and broth / stock. You can use any type of wine – white or even red. You can use cognac or sherry too! Anyways, using wine is optional. Beef broth is traditionally used to deglaze. But again, I have used chicken broth here. If you like beef broth, you are more than welcome to try it traditionally and let me know too!
Use baguette slices or croutons to top the soup with. Again, any melting cheese can be used – gruyere, or even mozzarella. I had a combination of mozzarella and cheddar which I have used. You can toast the bread slices in the oven or even on a tawa and then top it off with cheese and melt it in the stovetop itself. If you happen to have a Dutch oven, then you can serve the soup in microwave soup bowls and place the bread slices topped with cheese on the soup and broil it until melted and golden brown.
This French onion soup is a meal in itself. It can be paired with some salads on the side. It can also be had as a starter for a very elaborate meat dinner. This is a classic soup recipe to be had the way you like it. Enjoy having this French onion soup with your loved ones on a very cold day! And a very Happy Thanksgiving too! Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!
While you are here, also checkout my other soup recipes to enjoy a warm and a cozy meal on these cold winter days.
Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.
If you have tried any of my recipes, then tag @the_busy_apron and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #thebusyapron. Also tag @TheBusyApron and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #thebusyapron.
French Onion Soup
- 4 medium yellow onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups beef / chicken / vegetable broth
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, as per taste
- ground black pepper, as per taste
- baguette / croutons
- grated cheese (gruyere or mozzarella)
- Slice all onions ¼" thick.
- In a pan on low heat, add 2 tbsp butter and let it melt.
- Add the sliced onions and saute it on low heat. Keep stirring once in 3 minutes for the first few minutes and then about once a minute until the end. It takes about 30 minutes for the onions to be golden brown in color and caramelized.
- Add garlic and saute for a minute.
- Add the flour and stir for another minute.
- Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan.
- Add the beef / chicken / vegetable stock and stir to combine.
- Add worcestershire and stir well.
- Add bay leaf and fresh sprigs or dried thyme. Cook the soup uncovered until it boils. When it starts to boil, simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf and the sprigs of thyme. Add salt and pepper as required.
- Meanwhile, slice the baguette into thick pieces and toast them in a tawa or in a pre-heated oven until golden.
- Add grated cheese and cover and cook until the cheese melts.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the cheesy toasted baguette slice.
- Yellow onions are best for the recipe. But you can substitute with white or even red onions if yellow ones are not available.
- Do not saute the onions on high heat. This will only burn the onions and not caramelize them.
- Stir in between to make sure the onion does not burn.
- Butter gives the original French taste. Do not replace it.
- You can use white wine / red wine / sherry or even cognac. Or substitute with a bit of white wine vinegar too, to make it alcohol-free.
- To toast the baguette slices, you can toast them in a pre-heated oven until golden or even on a tawa.
- If using oven, then ladle the soup into microwave safe soup bowls, place a toasted baguette slice and top with grated cheese and broil until cheese is melted and golden spots appear.