Julia Child is a wonderful role model for the beginner cook, and well, anyone! I admire her so much. She worked at the OSS during World War II, and then she moved to France with her husband. One of her first days in France, she had a meal that changed her life, and she became obsessed with cooking French food at home. Julia Child ended up writing a couple of cookbooks and having a hit TV show. This French Onion Soup is based on her recipe.
To me, French Onion Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It is cheap, it is easy, and but it is a labor of love. It takes awhile to cook, but as Julia says, most of it is hands-off time. My dad made it sometimes, and it was always one of my favorite meals. This may seem like it takes a long time to make, but it is mostly simmering inactive time. So, you can make it and do other things at the same time. And, you really should make it.
I used my Vegetable Stock to make this soup. It is traditionally made with beef stock, but I had vegetable stock to use so I made it vegetarian.
Cook the onions until dark brown, and add the flour.
Add the stock and wine, and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Serves- about 2, but can be scaled up easily
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon oil (Julia usually uses vegetable)
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 1 medium red onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups stock (traditionally beef, but I used vegetable)
- 1/4 cup dry wine
- 1/2 baguette (a bit stale is great)
- Oil for crisping the bread with (about two tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Swiss cheese
- Prepare the onions: Slice the onions into 1/4″ slices. Melt the butter and oil together in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cover, and sweat the onions for about fifteen minutes over medium-high heat.
- Caramelize: Uncover, and add the sugar and salt. Cook the onions until reduced in size and golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Make a roux: Add the flour, and stir for 3 minutes. Add the stock and wine, and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming occasionally.
- Bake the croutons: While the soup is simmering, prepare the croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the garlic and oil.Slice the baguette into inch-long slices, and dip the edges of the bread in the garlic and oil mixture. Put the slices and bake in the over for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown and crispy. The more crispy, the better, because you will be putting it into soup.
- Prepare the soup: Place the soup in an over-proof bowl, and then place the croutons on top of the soup. Put the cheese on top of the croutons, and melt under a broiler until bubbly, crispy and golden.
- Serve: Serve and enjoy! Be careful, the bowl will be hot!
- The better quality cheese you can get, the better this will be! If you can afford it, sprinkle some good Parmesan with the Swiss.
- Make sure you put a bit of cheese off the side of the bowl, because the crispy cheese on the sides is the best!
- If you have good cognac, mix about 2 tablespoons in after you’re done cooking the soup, but before you add the croutons. It will be delicious.