Last week, I wanted to try my hand at making French onion soup from scratch. The warm, deeply flavorful broth, the infusion of sweet caramelized onions, the lightly toasted mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and the buttery crunch of French bread seemed like the perfect meal for a winter day.
Luckily, my mom had just given me the perfect items with which to broil my soup in the traditional way: two beautiful, Italian-made ramekins, which I popped right into the oven to get that classic, toasted bread and cheese topping.
I was quite happy with how they turned out, and the ramekins made the whole thing look so cute. Just a super cozy meal all around.
While it takes a while for the onions to caramelize and the broth to simmer and soak up the flavor, actually making the soup itself is very simple. But go ahead and let people think you slaved over this meal. *wink*
Let’s get to the recipe!
French Onion Soup
About 4 large yellow onions
3 tbs butter
4 cloves minced garlic
3 tbs flour
5 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
A French baguette
Grated cheese (a mix of mozzarella, Parmesan or Asiago)
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Slice the onions into about one-inch squares (they’ll end up shrinking a lot), and sauté for a half hour or so. Stir occasionally and let the onions caramelize into a nice brown color, but be careful not to let them burn. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Sprinkle in the flour gradually, and stir until it’s dispersed evenly throughout the pot.
Add the broth, water and Worcestershire sauce, then bring the soup to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring every so often. Add in a bit of cracked black pepper and garlic powder to taste. I try to reduce salt/sodium where I can, so I only added a pinch of salt. Let the soup simmer for ten minutes.
In the mean time, cut a few thick slices of French bread and lightly butter them on one side. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and place in the toaster on the low setting. We just want a slightly golden brown crunch.
Once the soup is ready, set the oven to the broil setting on high. Grab your ramekins or oven-safe bowls and ladle in the soup, leaving about one and a half inches for the bread and cheese. Place the toasted bread over the top, then sprinkle generously with cheese.
Pop them into the oven on the center rack for approximately six minutes, or until the cheese has reached a level of toasty, bubbliness that looks delicious to you.
Once ready, take them out and enjoy! Be sure to handle the bowls with oven mitts until they cool down.