Is there anything more comfortable than a hot bowl of French onion soup on a chilly day? Especially with a thick slice of toasted bread slathered in melty Gruyere and a generous helping of caramelized onions.
How to Make the Best French Onion Soup
A decent French onion soup must have two key ingredients.
The stock is the first. The quality of your soup will be determined by the stock you use. This soup is typically cooked using beef stock, but good beef stock can be difficult to come by and costly to create.
If you’re going to use boxed stock, be sure you taste it first! Don’t use it if you don’t like the taste. (Save the scraps after cooking a lot of beef or beef roasts and freeze them to make stock later.)
The second most critical step is to caramelize the onions properly. It will take at least 40 minutes to caramelize the number of onions required for this dish. Caramelization is a chemical reaction that takes place when the sugars in onions reach a specific temperature.
This only happens after a long period of cooking (the addition of a little extra sugar will help). The deeper the color of the onions and the more flavor you’ll get from them, the more caramelized they are.
How to Freeze French Onion Soup
This soup freezes well without the croutons. The cooled soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop by boiling. Make the croutons as soon as possible.
Ingredients For French Onion Soup
- 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions, halved, and sliced 1/4-inch thick (8 cups)
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1 bay leaf(taj pat)
- 1/2 cup medium-dry sherry(A Spanish light-colored dry wine, made in Andalusia)
- 1/2 cup brandy or Cognac(a strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice)
- 1 1/2 cups good dry white wine
- 4 cups beef stock(yakhni)
- 4 cups veal stock(yakhni)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan
Directions For French Onion Soup
- Sauté the onions with the butter and bay leaf in a large stockpot over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, or until the onions are a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and brandy and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Add the white wine and continue to cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper then add the beef and veal stocks. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and top with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.