French Onion Soup
French onion soup is such a classic dish that most folks (ourselves included) tend to reserve it for restaurant outings. But if you think about it, this rich, savory soup of buttery caramelized onions, aromatic white wine and sherry, and savory beef broth is perfect for cozy winter nights at home — and kind of the ultimate comfort food.
The best part of French onion soup is that the bread is built right in: You plop a baguette slice on top of the soup, like a little carb-tastic island, scatter it with nutty Gruyère — and then throw it in the oven until the bread is golden brown and crispy, the cheese hot and bubbly. The soup essentially becomes a brothy dip for your cheese toast. (And yeah, you might as well make some extra cheese toasts for sopping up any remaining soup in the bottom of the ramekin … or just for snacking!)
French onion soup’s immense depth of flavor belies its ease. True, caramelizing onions is time consuming — but you can honestly scroll through TikTok on your phone with one hand and stir the onions occasionally with the other. And once the onions are nice and brown, it’s just a bit of stirring, simmering, and ladling. Real basic stuff!
We love making French onion soup for entertaining: it’s the perfect starter for a steak dinner, especially if you use smaller ramekins. Plus, you can cook the soup ahead of time, and then slide everything under the broiler right before serving, so the Gruyère is still bubbling when the ramekins hit the table.
Servings: 4 to 6
French Onion Soup
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt, stir to combine, and cover. Cook until the onions are softened, 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, 45 to 60 minutes. Reduce the heat if the onions are beginning to char.
In a medium saucepan, warm the beef stock over low heat.
Once the onions are caramelized, add the white wine and sherry to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened.
Slowly add the warm broth, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Heat the oven to broil, and arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet.
Ladle the soup into the ramekins, cover with the sliced bread, and sprinkle a generous amount of Gruyère on top.
Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from: New York Times