I was kissed by a Frenchie! …Okay, not exactly.
But I did make French onion soup. And it was glorious. French + in my mouth = kissing a Frenchie. Or something.
To me, French onion soup (or any soup, really) can be one of two things. Really fucking good. And absolutely terrible. Rarely is soup ever just “alright”. Because “alright” soup just isn’t worth eating and if it isn’t worth eating, then it’s terrible. Soup, it would seem, is the only black and white fact I can come up with. Good or bad. Period.
And this soup… Was good. Nay – it was muy bien! Uhhh…. that’s not right.
And while we’re on the subject – what is up with all the Frenchies (or Quebecois) at this end of the country? I get it – Quebec is right next door (right?), but having grown up and lived in the West end of the country my entire life, I felt completely disconnected from this Canadianism. But now, riding the subway – when I manage to get on the right train going the right direction – I can hardly believe my ears! The only time I’ve ever heard this much French was in grade school French class!
Let’s get two things straight here:
A. I don’t speak French at all. Though as evidenced above, I do speak some Spanish.
B. They make good soup.
And so do I.
C. One more thing… I realize that French onion soup came from France, not Quebec. I think.
Seriously – this soup was pretty incredible; I’ve been eating it for 3 days now and I’m still not sick of it.
Soup for me? Soup for you!
French Onion SOup
Yield 4 servings
- 4 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 Lbs sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 C red wine
- 8 C beef stock
- Coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 8 1" slices of your favorite bread (sourdough or ciabatta work great)
- 'Lil extra virgin olive oil
- 2 C grated Gruyere cheese
- Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large stock pot over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions and a good pinch of coarse sea salt. Stir well and slowly saute until golden and caramelized, stirring often. This should take approximately 30 - 45 minutes. If your pot isn't big enough, do this in 2 batches, using 2 Tbsp of butter per batch and when all onions are caramelized, add the first batch back into the pot before moving onto the next step.
- Add the garlic and thyme, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds.When fragrant, de-glaze the pot with the red wine and allow to simmer for about a minute to cook away some of the alcohol.
- Add the stock, a good cracking of black pepper and coarse sea salt to taste. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure to taste the soup before serving - add more salt or pepper if necessary.
- When there is about 10 minutes left for the soup, pre-heat your oven broiler. Gently brush the sliced bread with the oil and place under the heat to toast - watch to make sure they don't burn! When they get crispy and golden, top with half the cheese. Place back under the element to melt and then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Serve: Ladle up my friends! Spoon a couple ladles of the soup into a deep bowl, topping with the remaining cheese and a couple crostinis. Add another crack of pepper.