Souper Week 2012: French Onion Soup

It’s that time of year again: school is back in session, there’s a crispness to the air, and the trees are taking on a rosy hue. Even down here in sunny Texas it’s unmistakably fall.

There’s something about the change of seasons that makes me start craving football, pumpkin spice lattes, and on chilly days, soup.

I love soup. It’s so warm and comforting, a little like the food equivalent of your favorite scarf. Good soup wraps you up and keeps you warm all day.

This fall, Kevin and I decided to go on a quest for our favorite soups. Each day this week we’ll be sharing a recipe for a soup that we love. We created these recipes from scratch right here in the Little House kitchen and are so excited to finally share them with you!

Today, we’re sharing our French Onion Soup recipe with you. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but it is amazing! It reminds me of the little bistros we ate at while in France.

French Onion Soup

prep: 20 minutes
cook: 2 hours

Ingredients:

For the soup:
6 large yellow onions
1 c. dry white wine (we used a chardonnay)
4 c. beef stock
2 c. chicken stock
4 Tsp. butter
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
salt

To Serve:
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
1/2 pound Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese, grated

Prep:

1. Slice the onions into half moons about a quarter of an inch thick. The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half from root to stem ,remove the stem, peel, and slice away. Keep the tissues handy: there will be tears.

2. In a large stock pot, combine the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the onions, stirring to coat. Caramelizing onions has to be a low and slow operation. Keep the heat around medium and stir every few minutes. It took us just over an hour to get that perfect, sweet roast on our onions.

3. When your onions are ooey-gooey delicious, turn the heat up to medium high and add the wine, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme spring. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get up any (tasty) brown bits. Allow this to cook down until nearly all the wine has evaporated. It should take about ten minutes.

4. When the wine has cooked out, add the beef and chicken stock. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for half an hour.

5. To serve traditionally, fill an oven proof bowl with soup. Top with a slice of toasted baguette and Gruyere cheese. Place under a broiler until the cheese is bubbly.

If you don’t have oven-safe bowls, toast your baguette pieces with the cheese on top, then either float them on top or use them as giant, cheesy dunking croutons.

We discovered that this soup, like fine wine and Chuck Norris, only gets better with age. It would be perfect for a make-ahead for a dinner party. Make it the night before, the reheat on the stove and serve to a (very) grateful audience.

Check back with us later on today for the Souper Week Giveaway!

What’s your favorite soup? What does fall make you think of?

19 comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Hahahaha and Chuck Norris!! This is perfect, my mom and I were talking about alternate Thanksgiving plans this year and she suggested a soup theme! Can’t wait to use a few of these recipes!

  2. Christine @ Casa-de-Christine says:

    I actually have it on my list of things to learn/try to try to learn how to make some basic but delicious soups. This week is perfect for that! I am a big fan of tomato soup and a beef/vegetable/barley soup but I’m excited to try some of these too!

  3. creativecampbell says:

    Fall makes me think of my sister-in-law’s recipe for Wild Turkey Rice Pumpkin Soup. It sounds crazy, but it’s delicious. I’ve never made a decent French Onion Soup. I can’t wait to give this one a try. It looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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