Thursday, September 01, 2005

Rich and Simple French Onion Soup

Source: AllRecipes

We have been trying French onion soup in restaurants for years and my family and friends agree none can compare to my recipe for taste and simplicity of preparation.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Printed from Allrecipes, Submitted by Lori Levin

4 cups sliced onions
4 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth (I used 2 cans of beef broth and 1 can of consommé with enough water to equal the total amount of liquid)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I reduced this to 4 tablespoons and would reduce to 2 next time)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional) (I used a bit more than this and felt it could use more still)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, sliced
6 slices provolone cheese
3/4 cup diced Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in an 8 quart stock pot on medium heat. Add olive oil and stir. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions.

Add beef stock, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Ladle soup into individual, oven safe, serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top, (it can also be broken into pieces, whichever you prefer). Layer cheese on top of bread; placing a slice of provolone, 1/2 slice diced Swiss and then Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

My notes: Overall we agreed that we liked the soup, but it wasn't fantastic. It lacked depth of flavor. Part of that must be due to using canned beef broth. I do make my own chicken stock, but I don't often cook cuts of beef that produce a stock, so I need to find something store bought that is good for producing a richer beef broth. We also felt it could use a bit more sherry. I seem to remember making a recipe once that called for Worcestershire sauce and I recall liking it - maybe I'll try that again next time.


  1. alysha,
    have you ever tried the "Better than Boullion" soup base they sell in the grocery store? it is great, and so much better than canned stuff. I am sure the Penzey's soup base is similar, but I have never ordered it.

  2. I make my french onion soup pretty much the same way. Although I use in this order:
    -salted butter
    -vidalia or sweet onions (I brown mine until they are 50-75% carmelized or until lots of brown bits/crust is in the pan)
    -about 2 tbs. minced garlic (add when onions are almost done)
    -about 2 tbs. worcestershire sauce
    -1/4 to 1/3 C. sherry
    -32 oz. carton of beef stock
    -beef broth to taste
    -1 or 2 bay leaves
    -dash or two of thyme
    -about 1-2 tsp. salt and pepper (after the broth is added to the onion/garlic mixture, to taste)

    I hope this makes a difference? Let me know if you like it?