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Thursday, September 29, 2011

French Onion Soup

I have never once ordered French Onion Soup in a restaurant. Growing up, the idea of onion soup just sounded gross and as I've transitioned into adulthood, I never thought to order it and try it because, quite honestly, I didn't know what I was missing out on! It wasn't until my soon to be sister-in-law made it to go along with our French-themed dinner one night (where I made the Zucchini, Lemon, & Ricotta Galettes) that I discovered the bliss that can be found in a bowl full of caramelized onions topped with cheesy bread.

Since then, I've been meaning to make it again, and a cool September Saturday a few weekends ago ended up being the perfect time. This soup is a labor of love, requiring you to stand over it for the first half an hour or so before allowing it to simmer for two hours. If you don't have that kind of time on the day you want to serve, it would be just as easy to make this a day or two ahead of time and then reheat and add the bread and cheese just before serving.

The friends I shared this with liked that it wasn't nearly as salty as your typical restaurant French Onion Soup, so be sure to use the low-sodium broth. Because I took these pictures when it was basically dark outside (gotta love the wonders of a DSRL camera!), I had trouble capturing just how gorgeous the melted swiss and toasted French bread was atop the soup. Trust me on this one, though. It had us "mmm-ing" our way through every slurp from the spoon!

Do you have any foods you never tried until recently and discovered that you loved?!

One Year Ago: Basil Parmesan Crackers
Two Years Ago: Veggie Stuffed Peppers

French Onion Soup
from Cooking Light January 2005
*makes approximately 8 one-cup servings

-2 tsp olive oil
-4 cups thinly vertically sliced sweet onion
-4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-8 cups less-sodium beef broth
-1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
-8 (1 oz) sliced French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
-8 (1 oz) sliced Swiss cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions to pain and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender.
2. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high and saute for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown.
3. Stir in wine and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours.
4. Preheat broiler. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil for 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.
5. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup of soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.