One of my favorite soups to order when I go out to dinner is French Onion Soup.
It is your favorite soup too?
When I was in college I had the privilege of traveling abroad. On one of my trips, some friends and I splurged and had dinner in a lovely restaurant on the Seine River in Paris, France, not far from the Notre Dame Cathedral. And, believe it or not, it was the very first time I had ever tasted French Onion Soup. Since then, I have tried different recipes in hopes that I could re-create the memory of those wonderful flavors. And this time, I think I got it.
This French Onion Soup was so delicious, that after a few bites I grabbed my camera to take a picture for you. Hence the quality of the photo. It was so good I wanted to immediately share it with you. Hopefully the photo and recipe to follow will suffice.
Before I share the recipe, which I found online here, I should let you know one
secret ingredient reason I believe my soup turned out so mouthwateringly delicious. Over the summer I purchased aged grass-fed beef at the farmers’ market, the best beef ever. One time I was there the farm lady also had bones for sale which I purchased. I roasted the bones in the oven and then put them in a pot with filtered water, onions, and celery, and let it simmer away on my stove for 48 hours. This homemade broth was the broth that I used for the soup. And I’m guessing it just might be the secret ingredient. The recipe calls for chicken stock too. So, you guessed it, I was able to use some of my own homemade chicken stock also.
French Onion Soup
Makes 4 generous servings.
- 4 Tablespoons Butter or Chicken Fat
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (necessary to caramelize the onions)
- 4 Larger Onions
- 6 Cups/48 ounces Beef Broth
- 2 Cups/16 ounces Chicken Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ Teaspoon Thyme leaves
- Sprinkling of parsley leaves
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 4 thick slices of French bread
- ½ or ¾ pound sliced Munster Cheese
Note: the original recipe called for ½ Cup Red Wine which I did not have, but it would be an excellent, though not necessary, addition, and for fresh herbs which I did not have available.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter or fat over medium heat. Add onions and stir frequently, so the onions do not get scorched, for 30 minutes or more, until the onions are caramelized and very droopy. While the onions are cooking, add the salt and thyme to the onions and stir.
- Add both beef and chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and parsley to the pot. (Wine may be added here if you wish.)
- Simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat or until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and add in vinegar and additional salt, and pepper if you like. Cover and let the mixture simmer on low while the bread is being prepared.
- Preheat the broiler. You may then toast your bread under the broiler. Or you may toast your bread in the toaster.
- Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls/crocks on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Remove the Bay Leaves from the soup. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with the soup. Place a slice of toasted bread on the soup and top with the Munster cheese divided between the 4 bowls.
- Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. The cheese will beautifully melt to the sides and create a crusty seal.
- Carefully remove the bowls and place on luncheon plates for easier serving.
- Bon appétit!
Is your mouth watering?
It transports me back to that dinner along the banks of the Seine River. And really I don’t remember too much other than the main course was beef and the beverage we were served came in an interesting bottle which I requested to take with me. And yes, I still have the bottle. The most memorable part of the meal was the soup. And that has stuck with me for a very long time. After dinner, my friends and I took a cruise down the Seine. That was memorable too. Maybe I’ll return to Paris someday. But, until then, I have found a recipe that evokes sweet and delicious memories of French Onion Soup.
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