My oldest son Jayden was home sick from school today, so I thought I would make him some soup. Jayden’s absolute favorite soup that I make is my French Onion. I have to say it tops pretty high on my list of favorites too. Perhaps because it is topped with loads of gooey cheese…yep that plays a big part. Actually recently Jayden and I were out with friends for lunch here in Bonnyville, and we both ordered the French Onion soup…and sadly we were both dissapointed – big time..it tasted like the broth was made with beef bouillion cubes (please don’t use those for this recipe) and it was soo salty I could feel myself retaining fluids with every bite. Then they floated a couple of tasteless croutons on top…and maybe put a couple of tiny shreds of cheese….I really can’t stand paying for terrible food like that.
Anyway, this is definately a better version than that. I picked up (long ago) some French Onion Soup bowls from a garage sale…they are handy to have around if you enjoy this soup as much as us.
The key to a great French Onion Soup broth is to cook the onions slowly, allowing them to slowly caramelize – this brings out their sweetness and really makes all the difference. So be patient – turn the heat down a bit, and give yourself a good 1/2 hour to cook your onions down.
– 4 large Onions, sliced fine (my onions were small so I used about 6)
– Thyme Sprigs (Fresh, about 2-3)
– 1/4 cup Brandy
– Butter (about a Tbsp)
– 1 Tbsp Wortchestire Sauce
– 7 cups Beef Stock (good stock not bouillion cubes) – the stuff in the boxes at the stores is good – get the kind without msg (check your labels) and I also buy the reduced sodium version
– salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I use sea salt or kosher salt)
|Onions cooking down – what they should look like when done|
Ladle the soup into your soup bowl (oven proof ones), I put a slice of toasted french bread (toasted really well, the drier the better) on top and then mound freshly grated mozzarella cheese on top, with a little dusting of some really good parmiggiano reggiano cheese and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Place on a sheet pan under the broiler for a minute (be careful not to burn) – or if your broiler element is not working (as mine wasn’t) crank your heat really high and leave them in for about 15 minutes until your cheese is brown and bubbly. Enjoy!