Lately I have been quite busy with work, as well as some volunteer activities, and having exhausted all my archived blog posts, I was really hoping to find some time to make some blogworthy food! Fortunately/unfortunately we got a big snowstorm in Saskatoon, which meant things at work would finally slow down for a day or two, meaning I would probably get my afternoon off! Sure enough I did and I knew exactly what I was going to do! So after leaving work, I stopped off at the grocery store and stocked up on various ingredients.
Having been wanting to try my hand at making French Onion Soup for over a year, I knew my time had finally come! With the guidance of Martha Stewart I stocked up on onions, beef stock, sherry and gruyere cheese (as well as some other good finds, which you will see in later recipes!). I followed this recipe for the most part, but making a couple changes (one of those was doubling it for starters!).
French Onion Soup
(Makes 12 Servings – Adapted from this recipe)
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 4 Pounds Yellow Onions
- 2 Tsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Cup Sherry Wine
- 6 Cups Beef Stock
- 4 Tsp Fresh Thyme or 1½ Tsp Dried Thyme
- Salt & Pepper
- French Bread
- Gruyere Cheese
First peel all of your onions. Once this is done, get your biggest pan/pot on medium-low heat, with your butter in it.
Next, evenly slice all of your onions, a Mandolin or food slicer makes quick work of this. Although if like me, you just use a knife, a thin sharp blade will work best! I used this AMAZING Henckels Santoku Knife which is I got for Christmas and is AMAZING! …did I say that already? I can’t say enough good things about it. I found the easy/quickest way to slice them with a knife, is to cut them in half and then slice them.
Once you slice all your onions (I managed to get through all of them without crying! I’M SO MANLY!) put them in your pan/pot with the sugar and begin the CARAMELIZATION! I’m trying to make it more exciting than it really is…capslock helps right?? If you don’t have very large pans, feel free to split the butter and onions up and get two going at the same time, which will speed up the process!
If you are making a double batch like me, caramelizing the onions will take 1-2 hours, so grab a book and settle in! Let the onions caramelize, stirring only as often as needed, without having them burn or stick to the pan, you don’t want to stir too often, as this will prevent them from browning and caramelizing. Once they become a deep golden brown, like in the picture, turn the heat to medium, and after a minute or two, mix in your flour and then add your sherry, allowing it to cook for a few minutes, burning off the alcohol. Next combine your onions, beef broth and thyme, bringing it to a simmer, allowing it to remain there for 30-45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
While simmering and tasting mine, I found it was a little too sweet at first (due to the sherry I was using), so after simmering it some more and adding more pepper and a little salt, I was able to tone down the sweetness and it tasted great! Just be careful adding the salt! Add a little, taste, add a little taste, you don’t want to ruin all your hard work by accidentally making it too salty!
Now for the best part! Put your oven on broil, grab some oven proof bowls, your cheese and slice up some French bread (small enough to fit in the bowl) and toast for a few minutes. Fill your bowls with some soup, top with the bread and a generous amount of Gruyere! Place in the oven and broil until the cheese is gooey and bubbly! Let cool for a few minutes (if you can wait that long!) and then DIG IN!
Now I’ve only had French Onion Soup a few times, so I am by no means an expert on the topic, but according to my tastebuds this soup was DELISH and judging by how fast it disappeared from my fridge, the masses agree!
While this soup certainly takes some patience, it is very simple and very easy to make, so go ahead, block a few hours out of your day and give it a go!
(P.S. Be on the lookout for another “Deconstructed” grilled cheese in the very near future!)