Caramelized French Onion Soup

By Jackie DeKnock  ,

November 26, 2015

Enjoy this classic French soup dish to keep you toasty warm.

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  • Yields: Serves 4-6



8 large sweet yellow onions, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon of sugar (raw if you have it)

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup water

½ cup of dry white wine

8 cups of beef stock (or 50/50 beef and chicken stock)

1 bay leaf

6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cheese Croutons

1 loaf toasted French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese


In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in olive oil and butter on medium high heat until well browned, but not burnt. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with caramelization and then cover.

Remove the cover and continue to cook stirring frequently until liquid evaporates and the onions brown (roughly 6 to 8 minutes) adjusting the heat as necessary. The pan bottom will be coated with a darkish crust (pan drippings), gently scrape the bottom and sides of the pan and spoon back into the onions.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in a splash of the water, scraping the pan bottom to loosen the crust, and cook until water evaporates and then pan bottom has formed another dark crust. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring frequently, until the wine is partially evaporated (about 5 minutes).

Add the stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.

For the cheese croutons - while the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree F oven until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler to 350 degrees F. To serve - use individual oven-proof soup bowls on a baking sheet or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère cheese. Broil until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately, serves 4-6.

Suggested Side:
Serve with Toasted Garlic Bread – cut French bread loaf into 1/2" slices. Mix together 5 Tbsp. butter, softened, 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, crushed, pinch salt and pepper and spread on the bread slices. Reassemble the bread slices to form the loaf and wrap in foil. Place in 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until butter is melted and bread is crisp.

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