Winter finally caught up with New York City and y’all it was painful! I forgot what it was like to have your fingers go numb and then like fire tingle their way back to circulation. With the cold came my obsession with French Onion Soup. It’s the perfect winter, comfort food. The combination of carmelized onions, salty broth, bread, and gooey cheese (seriously who can say no to melty cheese? No one! At least no one I’m hanging out with) are more than enough to keep you happy for the rest of this bitter season.
Truthfully, up until four years ago, I was not a big French Onion Soup eater. My boyfriend is a huge lover of the soup though. After trying it for the first time at one of my favorite diners in New York City, Cozy Soup & Burger, I was hooked. I started ordering it everywhere. And soon I became obsessed with comparing french onion soup against french onion soup. No single bowl is the same. And I’d say most soups I’ve come across I like… I did have a bad run in with a french onion soup made from chicken stock. Word to the wise: that’s sacrilege! Don’t disrespect my soup like that!
When deciding to make my own version of this recipe, I studied around. One of the major questions that I asked myself: What onions are the best onions to use? After many reads and many attempts, I’ve come to the conclusion that while any and all onions are delicious, I find the most drool worthy soup to be made from not just onions, but a combination of 3 different alliums. Yes alliums and onions are basically the same thing. Onions are a part of the allium family. In this recipe I use a red onion, a yellow onion, and scallions to get a vast depth of flavor.
The other trick to french onion soup is to pack it in with herbs. I use thyme, bay leaves, and sage for a full herby flavor that really pushes all of the depth in this soup together. The more herbs the better after all.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
1 yellow onion, 1 red onion (cut in half and then cut into thin strips lengthwise)
5 scallions, sliced in rounds
3 sprigs on thyme
1 bay leaf
2 sage leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
2 tsp flour
3/4 c dry white wine
3 cup beef broth
1 c water
1/2 tsp pepper
- Cook onions, thyme, bay leaf, sage, salt and butter in an uncovered 4 qt pan. Stir frequently until onions are soft and a deep golden brown color.
- Add flour and cook onions. Stir for 1 minute. Stir dry white wine in and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in broth, water, and pepper. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Move one oven rack into the middle of the oven and a second rack at the very bottom of your oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Croutes: Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet in one single layer. Toast for 7 minutes on each side.
- Remove croutes from oven and preheat broiler on high. Place your crocks into a shallow baking pan.
- Discard all herbs from your onion soup. Divide soup among crocks. Float a croute in each crock, slice comte cheese and place on top of your soup.
- Place pan with crocks on top on to the bottom oven rack. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes.