French Onion Soup – Rich, Simple, and Delicious
French onion soup. Hot, cheesy, and bursting with rich beef and onion flavor. How can you not love it? The combination of deep caramelized onions, rich, flavorful homemade beef broth, stale, toasted bread (wait, I thought I was trying to make this sounds good?), and melted cheese. Mmmm, melted cheese. Gruyere is the most common cheese used in French onion soup, however, any flavorful cheese such as Swiss, Jarlsberg, Emmantheler, or Gouda will work wonderfully. For this recipe, I used Jarlsberg, but like I said, any flavorful cheese will do just fine.
I STRONGLY recommend using homemade beef broth for this recipe. While the store bought will technically work, homemade provides a deep, rich beef flavor, which is key to the flavor of this soup.
Related Recipe: Kimchi Tofu Stew
For the toasted bread, I find the sale rack at the grocery store and buy whatever cheap loaf of bread they have. I try to stay away from sourdough, but any other white bread will do. The freshness doesn’t really matter because we are basically toasting all the moisture out of it anyway.
Melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook until brown and caramelized, stirring often. It should take the onions about 20 minutes to reach the golden “brownness” we like to see.
Add the garlic, sherry, white wine and bring to a simmer. Add thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and beef broth.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. At this point, I taste the broth and season with additional salt as needed. When I make homemade beef broth, I use a very minimal amount of salt so this step is important.
Slice and toast the bread until very crispy.
Pour the broth into individual oven safe crocks.
Place the toasted bread over the broth and layer the top with the thinly sliced cheese. I prefer using sliced cheese here because I despise using the grater. However, grated cheese is perfectly acceptable.
Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browned. Serve this French onion soup as an appetizer, side dish, or even just as a meal (it’s that hearty). It’s delicious, I hope you make it and love it. I’m pretty sure you will.
Looking for some other classic comfort foods? Check out these recipes: