As many of you know, I love soup (any kind of soup) but French onion soup is one of my all-time favorites. It must be the richness of the broth and the chewy cheese. YUM! Thanks, Mitch Nicklas, for this great picture of onions! It was just too perfect not to use!
Onions are also very good for you. They are full of antioxidants, in addition to having anti-allergy, antihistamine, and antiviral properties. To obtain the most nutritional value from your onions, you should eat them raw or lightly steamed, but I can’t imagine that a big bowl of onion soup doesn’t have some of the good stuff left!
French Onion Soup Recipe
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 large sweet onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (approx. 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons of flour (your choice, it just needs to soak up the butter)
1 cup of red wine
3 quarts of beef broth
1 cup fresh chopped parsley (optional, but I think it enhances the flavor)
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot combine the butter and onions. Turn the heat on medium-low and cover with a lid. You want the onions to start sweating and caramelizing (turning a nice golden brown). Stir the onions occasionally to keep them from burning. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Stir ingredients together and let it cook for about 5 minutes or so. Add flour. The flour will absorb the oil and help thicken the soup. Let this mixture cook for about 5 more minutes. This gives the flour some time to cook and lose that “raw” flavor.
Now, add the red wine and stir all together. Simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the alcohol out. You’ll need to stir it during this process to help break up the globs of flour that may form. The flour will disburse as the soup simmers. Now, you can add the broth.
Cover, reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes – make sure to taste for salt and adjust to suit your preference. You’ll also want to remove the bay leaves and the thyme springs.
I love to serve this soup in a big bowl with a slice of toasted bread and melted cheese, but it tastes wonderful on its own as well.