It is a rainy weekend here in the SF Bay Area, but after years of a bad drought, rain is always welcomed here. Whether as an appetizer or it’s own meal, soup is perfect on a day like today. It’s always cozy, warm and comforting…easy, cheesy French Onion Soup!
I love to make soups and stews (I guess you can probably tell by now), especially during the fall and winter months. I’ll admit it openly, I love comfort food. It makes me happy in so many aspects. I love to put something on during the afternoon when I have time and then let the smells of home cooking fill our home. I also love them because for the most part they’re really hard to screw up. Who doesn’t like that, right? French Onion Soup is an easy one to make a big pot, ladle it into individual bowls, top with crostini and Gruyere cheese and you’ll look like a rockstar!
Now that I said it’s easy, I will also say that not all French Onion Soup is created equal. I have had French Onion Soup in a restaurant or two that in my opinion was boring, lacked depth of flavor and was not as tasty as this recipe. I really believe that when you taste a dish, you can tell within the first couple of bites whether or not it was made with care and love. You either taste it or you don’t. To me, it’s kind of like when you hear a singer and they either move you deep down in your soul, or they’re just singing a song. There’s a difference. I guess it’s kind of like an “X Factor” for food. Good food, no matter how simple, should be an experience, not just a meal. Again, back to my opinion that while some eat to live, others live to eat. I hope that I will always be inspired and remain in the latter category.
French Onion Soup
Whether it's served as an appetizer or as it's own meal, it's always cozy, warm and comforting...easy, cheesy French Onion Soup!
Chop onions into a small slice. In a large dutch oven, heat over moderate heat, add butter.
Once melted, add sliced onions. Stir to combine with butter and then let sit for a few minutes before stirring again. Add salt and pepper and minced garlic cloves.
Take butchers twine and tie together parsley and thyme sprigs for easy removal later. Add it to the pot along with a bay leaf. Cook onions over a medium low heat for about 45 minutes until caramelized. Remove bay leaf and fresh herb bundle, discard.
Deglaze pan with red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes until alcohol has cooked off and wine has reduced. Dust onions with flour and stir to combine.
Add Cognac or Brandy and simmer 5 minutes until reduced. If you don't have either, you can skip this step. Add both stocks, and simmer uncovered another 20 minutes. Taste it and adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, make the crostini. See oven to 400F, slice baguette on a bias, drizzle EVOO over bread (enough for about 2 per person/bowl). Bake on top rack for about 8 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside. Move oven up to broil.
Ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with 2 crostini and sliced Gruyere Cheese. Place bowls on a baking sheet and broil on top rack for 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Keep an eye on it and set a timer, it goes fast! Top with fresh thyme if desired.
Hi! I'm Aly! I was born in New Zealand, but have spent most of my life in the beautiful Bay Area of California. My husband and I have been married for 16 years and have 3 kids. I am an avid home cook who loves to cook and entertain for our family and friends. I am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at our local Community College to continue learning about something I am so passionate about. My culinary point of view is to take everyday recipes and elevate them, from my kitchen to yours. Cheers!