Sliced Onion - ©

Classic Dishes: French Onion Soup

This is one of my favourite Soups and a go-to when I have a houseful of guests coming. Makes the perfect first course for a Formal Family Feast! It takes a little time and patience, but the result is definitely worth it. And the main ingredient, Onions, are among the cheapest veggies you can buy!

French Onion Soup - © Safeway.comBeautiful, aromatic, yummy French Onion Soup…

The key to this classic is getting the Onions cooked just right. And there’s a secret to that most home cooks don’t know!

What you need…

6 cups / 1.5 L Sweet Onions, sliced thinly
3 tbsp. / 45 ml Butter
3 tbsp. / 45 ml Brown Sugar
1 tsp. / 5 ml Salt
2 tbsp. / 30 ml Corn Starch
8 cups / 2 L Beef Stock
1 cup Dry Red Wine (opt.)
2 tbsp. / 30 ml Sherry, Brandy or Madeira

For Garnish:
8 slices French Bread
2 cups Swiss or White Cheddar Cheese, grated

What you do…

Cook the Onions with the Butter and Salt in a large soup pot or small stock pot, over med low heat for about 20 minutes, until the onions become translucent and soft.

Add the Sugar and cook another 20-30 min., until the Onions are nicely glazed and caramelized.

Add the Beef Stock and raise the heat to Medium. When the soup starts to simmer, dissolve the Corn Starch with 1/3 cup / 75 ml of cold water in a small bowl or measuring cup and add to the soup, stirring a couple of minutes until the soup thickens. Add the Wine and let simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the overall volume is reduced by 25 per cent.

While the soup simmers…

Butter the Bread slices, add a generous amount of Grated Cheese and toast under the broiler for a few minutes until the Cheese is melted and bubbly. Do not over-toast! There’s a perilously thin line between Toasted and charred…

Check Soup for seasoning and add Salt and/or Pepper if needed.

Serve each guest 1 cup / 250 ml Soup in a deep bowl (a dedicated Onion Soup Bowl is de regueur) and top with a slice of the Cheese Toast.

You can scale this recipe up or down to suit your needs. I always make the full recipe so there’s some left over for another day! Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

~ Maggie J.