French onion soup: A recipe complete with a French baguette and melty cheese
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If you’re looking for a delicious, full-flavored French onion soup, this recipe is going to wow you and the guests you serve.
French onion soup is a popular comfort meal full of strong flavors.
It is traditionally made exclusively with yellow onions.
The hearty soup dates back to the 17th century, although the exact origins vary slightly.
French onion soup, not to be confused with onion soup, which is made slightly differently, is a savory soup delicious for any time of year.
The history of French onion soup
French onion soup dates to the 17th century, according to Worldinparis.com.
In the first theory of origination, the recipe was, in a way, created by accident by King Louis XV, according to the source.
He found himself hungry one night and lacked ingredients.
What he did have was onions, butter and champagne, which he combined to create what is now said to be the first French onion soup.
Another theory of origin is that Stanislas Leszczynski, Duke of Lorraine, made the recipe popular.
Based on this theory, he tasted the soup for the first time at a Champagne inn. He loved the soup so much that he decided to make one similar.
He then went on to share the recipe at the Palace of Versailles, according to corkdining.com.
What is the difference between French onion soup and onion soup?
Before you shop for the ingredients, you’ll want to note a few key factors to whip up an authentic French onion soup.
For a regular onion soup, there are usually lots of different types of onions used as opposed to French onion soup, which is made with yellow onions.
French onion soup uses beef stock.
For onion soup, any type of stock or broth can be used.
You will also notice that most French onion soup recipes call for Gruyère, emmental or Swiss cheese, while onion soup recipes will generally call for cheddar.
The last difference between the two is the bread used. Naturally, most French onion soups call for a baguette, while the options for onion soup are more broad, and any types of stale bread will do.
Ingredients for French onion soup
- 64 ounces of beef broth
- 6 yellow onions
- French baguette
- Gruyère cheese
- ½ cup of white wine (dry preferred)
- ¼ cup of Brandy
- ¼ cup of unsalted butter
- 3 fresh garlic cloves
- 2 stems of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
French onion soup recipe
Begin cooking your French onion soup by caramelizing the onions. In a large pan over medium heat, add butter and all six yellow onions sliced. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the butter, onion pan and cover with a lid.
You don’t need a ton of butter here as the onions will emit juice into the pan themselves.
Here, you’ll want to stir your onions every few minutes to avoid burning them. The onions should be caramelized and translucent before adding them to the broth later.
While the onions are cooking, add the beef broth, brandy and white wine to a large pot on the stovetop over low to medium heat. Cover with a lid and allow the wine and Brandy to cook down.
When your onions are soft and a golden brown, add them to the broth and include all leftover butter as well. Add thyme leaves from three or four stems of herbs, two bay leaves and three peeled and chopped cloves of fresh garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and cover with a lid.
As you stir the soup, be sure to scrape the sides of the pot.
The buildup of broth stuck to the edges will help thicken the soup. Cook the soup for a minimum of 40 minutes on the stovetop or longer if preferred.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the French baguette into a size that will fit in your oven safe soup bowls. Butter both sides of the bread and place on a pan in the oven to bake until dry and crispy.
The butter will help the baguette slices crisp nicely. Remove the slices of bread when they appear toasted.
When you’re ready to serve your soup, add a slice of bread to the soup bowl and with a ladle full at a time, add the soup to the bowl.
Cover the top of the soup bowl with a slice of Gruyère cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.