French Onion Soup. Hands down one of my favorite cold weather soups. After trying numerous recipes at home, I’ve finally found the one. The one recipe that can finally rival French Onion Soups I’ve enjoyed at restaurants!
This recipe is a bit time consuming but the result is nothing short of amazing. From start to finish it takes almost five hours, however, much of that time is inactive while the onions are braising in the oven.
Important Notes to Remember:
♦ Use yellow onions for this recipe. Do not use sweet onions such as Vidalia or Walla Walla or the soup will be overly sweet.
♦ Be patient when caramelizing the onions on the stovetop, the entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes, but it’s a big key in developing the incredible flavor.
♦ The onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.
♦ For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Prepare through step 3 and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat the soup on the stovetop and continue with the recipe.
I am so excited for today’s giveaway because now I can make my favorite soup in these oven safe French Onion Soup bowls. Before trying these bowls, I didn’t have broiler-safe crocks. It was pretty interesting trying to make French Onion Soup without a bowl that I could place under the broiler. Many times I would have to toast the bread and cheese separately before placing it on top of my bowl of soup. Now I have some dedicated broiler-safe bowls that I swear makes the soup taste even better!
The wonderful folks over at Harold Import Co are giving one lucky Sweet Pea’s Kitchen reader their own set of 4 French Onion Soup Covered Crocks! They feature a comfortable-grip handle to easily transport soups directly from oven to table. The stoneware retains heat to keep soup at the perfect serving temperature.
How to Enter: Leave a comment on this post answering the question: “What is your favorite kind of soup?” Feel free to leave links to your favorite recipes!
Extra Entries: The following five opportunities below will earn one extra entry into the giveaway for each. You must leave separate comments for each one to ensure that they are counted as separate entries:
PLEASE REMEMBER: Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted.
Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:00am CST GIVEAWAY CLOSED!!
Winner: The winner will be selected at random by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen using Random.org. The giveaway is only open to U.S. residents living in the lower 48 states. Be sure a valid email address is included with your comment(s). All entries received after the deadline will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winner does not reply within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
The classic French Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Soup:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
1/2 cup dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
Ground black pepper
For the Cheese Croutons:
1 small baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)
1. To Make the Soup: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray inside of a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place butter in pot along with onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, 1 hour (onions should be starting to wilt and release moisture). Remove pot from oven and stir, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
2. Remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat to medium if onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in broths, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
4. To Make the Croutons: While soup simmers, place bread slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven until bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
5. To Serve: Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes: For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.
Source: Cook's Illustrated, January 2008
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