French Onion Soup

I love, love, love onions. I read about deglazing your pan more than once when caramelizing onions to maximize flavor and I am confident you will be in love with this recipe! It's all about the technique here, not any secret ingredient to make it taste this good. I hope you follow me on this journey of great comfort food!

Tip: Do not use sweet onions for this recipe. They will be to sweet after the caramelization process.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large cooking onions
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 tsp of kosher salt
  • water for deglazing the pot
  • 1/4 cup of sherry
  • 1/4 cup of vermouth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • spring of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leafs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted sliced baguettes
  • Mozza or Gruyère cheese

Directions:

First off I put my butter in a dutch oven and melt it on the stove top then turn the heat off.  Cut all your onions in even size slices, and put in your dutch oven. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. The onions  should almost reach the top of a standard size dutch oven. Give it a bit of a toss to coat the onions and sides of your dutch oven with the butter, and distribute the salt.

Now put the lid on this and place in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour to start softening them and cook them.

There is reason why we do this:

  1. In the oven this will cook evenly as there is heat from all sides of the pot and no caramalization will take place. Which is a good thing at this point because we don't have to worry about burning the onions before they start to cook.
  2.  It decreases the amount of time you are stuck stirring them on the stove top and making sure they don't burn. Remember black is bad, brown is good.

Ok so after an hour has passed there will be a lot of liquid and they will have become somewhat translucent, and softened.

Now turn on your stove top to medium high. The first 20 minutes or so will require little stirring as there is a lot of liquid to be reduced before any caramelization takes place. Once the liquid evaporates you need to plant your feet in front of that burner and start keeping a closer eye on these babies.

Stir often!! Remember black=bad, brown=good. When your onions start to lose their structure and deepen in color and no liquid is left you need to start scraping the BROWN fond off the sides of your pot and the bottom.

Now we are ready to deglaze our pot with the first 1/4 cup of water. Stir that in and keep stirring and scraping the brown bits back into the onions.

Once that water has reduced your onions should take on a deeper color:

Lets do this again shall we:

Wow check out that color and the smell!

Now if you think the color needs to deepen a bit more by all means deglaze the pot with water a third time. Repeating the whole process described above.

Our final deglaze will be with the sherry and vermouth. I like using vermouth along with the traditional sherry because vermouth is a fortified wine made with various herbs and spices.

Once the alcohol has been reduced I then add the water, chicken and beef broths and my spring of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Turn your burner down to simmer and cook this for an additional 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Now comes the best part! Take your oven proof soup bowls and add a toasted baguette slice or two or three ;)

Ladle some soup in there, darn I missed the million dollar shot! Add Gruyère or Mozza  cheese to the top and place in the oven under broiler till cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

 

[recipe title="French Onion Soup" servings="8" time="3hrs" difficulty="medium"]

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 large cooking onions
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 tsp of kosher salt
  • water for deglazing the pot
  • 1/4 cup of sherry
  • 1/4 cup of vermouth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • spring of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leafs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted sliced baguettes
  • Mozza or Gruyère cheese

Directions:

First off I put my butter in a dutch oven and melt it on the stove top then turn the heat off.  Cut all your onions in even size slices, and put in your dutch oven. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. The onions  should almost reach the top of a standard size dutch oven. Give it a bit of a toss to coat the onions and sides of your dutch oven with the butter, and distribute the salt.

Now put the lid on this and place in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour to start softening them and cook them.

After an hour return the dutch oven to the stove top remove the lid and turn the burner on med-high.  The first 20 minutes or so will require little stirring as there is a lot of liquid to be reduced before any caramelization takes place. Once the liquid evaporates you need to plant your feet in front of that burner and start keeping a closer eye on these babies.

When your onions start to lose their structure and deepen in color and no liquid is left you need to start scraping the BROWN fond off the sides of your pot and the bottom.

Now we are ready to deglaze our pot with the first 1/4 cup of water. Stir that in and keep stirring and scraping the brown bits back into the onions.

Once that water has reduced your onions should take on a deeper color. Deglaze a second time with another 1/4 cup of water.

Our final deglaze will be with the sherry and vermouth. I like using vermouth along with the traditional sherry because vermouth is a fortified wine made with various herbs and spices.

Once the alcohol has been reduced I then add the water, chicken and beef broths and my spring of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Turn your burner down to simmer and cook this for an additional 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Now comes the best part! Take your oven proof soup bowls and add a toasted baguette slice or two or three ;)

Ladle some soup in there, add Gruyère or Mozza  cheese to the top and place in the oven under broiler till cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

[/recipe]