On my list of ultimate comfort foods French onion soup is preeeeetty high up. Every time I see it on a menu I have to get it. If it were possible to be a French onion soup sommelier you could expect to see a blue checkmark next to my name.
While time consuming, making a good broth is simple enough, so to step my game up I went to the most often overlooked part of the preparation, the bread. While a baguette does a marvelous job of soaking up the soup I thought homemade garlic bread croutons would be the perfect opportunity to inject a little more flavor into the soup. And between the gruyere on top, the sweet and savory onion soup, and buttery garlic bread the soup almost has a, and bear with me here, juicy mouthfeel. Yes I’m aware soup is liquid and so is juice, and yes I used the term mouthfeel. It’s just so many things bursting at once you can’t help but want more.
- 4 onions sliced into half-moons
- 3 whole garlic cloves
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 5 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- Garlic bread croutons (recipe follows)
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
- Salt, pepper, and sugar
In a large stock pot melt the butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted add the sliced onions, garlic, thyme, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Cook the onions and garlic over low heat stirring every so often until the onions are caramelized and so soft it seems like they gave up on life, about one hour.
Turn the heat up to medium and stir in the flour. Allow the roux to cook for about two to three minutes to cook the flour taste out.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir in the wine. Cook the wine until the alcohol has cooked out and the liquid has reduced by half, about five to ten minutes.
Add the broths and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the soup to simmer 45 minutes. Season to taste.0
Turn the broiler on your oven to high. Fill crocks or ovenproof bowls with the soup, float two to three garlic bread croutons on top of the soup, and load it up with a mighty layer of the shredded gruyere.
Now for the broiling every oven is different. The main goal is to get the cheese bubbling and gooey. My oven takes about five minutes. After about two minutes you need to start keeping an eye on it because the cheese can burn quickly.
Garlic Bread Crouton Ingredients:
It’s best to cook these while the soup simmers.
- One baguette sliced on the bias
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter melted
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter, garlic, herbs, and salt. Brush liberal amounts of the butter mixture over the baguette slices. Spread the slices over a baking sheet and bake until nice and toasty, about three to five minutes.