French onion soup is a type of soup made out of caramelized onions in a beef stock base, originally based on a simple Roman onion soup where it was popular dish for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern version though is of French origin as the name states and it was somewhere in the 18th century when it was created, the difference between the Roman recipe is that the onions caramelized and cooked in beef stock base, it is also served with gruyere topping and sometimes croutons.
A very good soup especially when you get the process right, usually lots of onions will be used in a serving of this soup where it is initially slowly caramelized which can take for at least 30 minutes or an hour to develop flavour and colour. It is then deglazed with cognac, sherry or wine to further enhance the flavour before simmering it with a good beef stock.
We just had recently tried this soup for the first time as this was not popular in the Philippines, but when we moved over to New Zealand we can see a lot of ready-made ones in the supermarket which intrigued me on making a home-made one. The name does not justify the taste as I never knew that a flavour like this would come from onions, it was surprisingly good and tasty, not too oniony even lots of it were used. A good soup for cold and wet days specially when paired with a slice of bread.
- 3 large red, thinly sliced
- 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 8 cups beef stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp dry thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- Gruyere, grated
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- croutons or bread slices
- olive oil
- In a large heavy pot add olive oil then sauté onions in low heat, cover pot and let onions cook for around 45 minutes while occasionally stirring. After 45 minutes the onions will be in a caramelized stage, add the sugar and garlic then continue stirring for 10 more minutes.
- Add the wine to deglaze and once the liquid is thick pour the beef stock.
- Add the bay leaf and thyme then bring to a boil then simmer covered for 45 minutes.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then ladle the soup into oven proof bowls. Place bread slice or croutons on top then sprinkle a generous amount of gruyere and parmesan. Place in oven using the grill function then grill using the highest setting until top turns golden brown.
- Save with toast.