Hello friends!!! I don’t know why but I am in a stellar mood this morning. I think I actually got a really good nights sleep! I know my friends with kids are laughing at me right about now….”uhhh every night for her must me a good nights sleep”. Yes, but this one was the better of the all the good-nights-sleep. I feel refreshed and ready to tackle Tuesday!
A couple weeks ago I did some testing with French onion soup. I researched recipes, added stuff, deleted stuff, combined stuff and I came up with this super delicious, perfect-for-chilly-weather soup. That is what I love about testing recipes. It isn’t always something you make up off the top of your head and write down. You research things, you dissect recipes, you tweak, and you put your special spin on it to make it all yours.
When I lived in San Francisco there was a little joint called BrazenHead in the Marina that we used to frequent when it was super rainy and cold out (which was often). My besties and I would always meet up there for a bowl of their French Onion Soup. I lived there 10 years ago and to this day, that is still the best French Onion Soup I have ever had. This is my rendition and best effort at trying to recreate this classic soup from those very chilly San Francisco nights.
Start with onions….sooooo many onions….(see photo at very bottom of what I use to prevent onion tears)
Slice up a baguette. Most French Onion Soup recipes call for French baguette (obviously) but I like to use sourdough. Place slices on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, broil until golden, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Caramelize those onions! Stir stir stir for about 10 minutes. Splash a tablespoon of water in the pan if you see it start to get dry.
Once you get through round 1 of stirring onions for 15 minutes, add salt and sugar to them and stir again for another 10-15 minutes. This helps to caramelize…
For 3rd round of stirring-onions-for-minutes, add 1/2 cup white wine. I used chardonnay because A) I love it B) I was drinking it C) it is a dry white wine that works perfectly for this soup. Stir this in for a minute with the onions and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Now add the beef broth, Worchestershire, seasonings and bay leaves. Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes…
Ladle the soup into bowls and place the toasted baguette slices on top….
Add as much or as little Gruyere cheese as you like. Also sprinkle a tiny bit of parmesan…
Broil in the oven on high for about 3 minutes….
Look how purrrrdy…
Now go sit on the couch and binge watch something that makes you feel as good as this soup.
Oh….here is that pic of how I chop onions that I posted to Instagram the other day….
- 6 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (wear ski goggles to prevent tears)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups beef stock/broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 12, 1 inch baguette slices (depending on thickness of baguette. If thicker, the soup may only hold 2 slices, thinner should hold 3 slices)
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere, 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme
- Melt butter in a large skillet, add the onions, reduce heat to medium-low
- Stir constantly for 15 minutes
- While onions are cooking, slice your baguette into about 12, 1 inch slices. Lay on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Broil on high in oven for about 5 minutes (watch them so they do not burn)
- Next, add sugar and salt to onions, add a splash of water and stir another 15 minutes (the sugar helps caramelize)
- Add the wine and stir for 2-3 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of skillet
- Add broth, thyme, Worcestershire Sauce, pepper and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (no need to stir here, just let it do it's thing)
- Ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls
- Top soup with the toasted baguette slices, pile on the Gruyere and sprinkle with parmesan (I like to sprinkle cheese along the edges of the bowl too, it adds an extra oomph as far as this soups appearance!)
- Broil on high for about 3 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden
- Garnish with fresh thyme sprig and pepper
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