French Onion Soup: A complete recipe with a French baguette and melted cheese
If you’re looking for a delicious French onion soup that’s packed with flavor, this recipe is going to wow you and the guests you serve.
French onion soup is a popular comfort food full of strong flavors.
It is traditionally made exclusively with yellow onions.
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The hearty soup dates back to the 17th century, although the exact origins vary slightly.
French Onion Soup, not to be confused with French Onion Soup, which is prepared slightly differently, is a savory soup that is delicious any time of the year.
The history of French onion soup
French onion soup dates back to the 17th century, according to Worldinparis.com.
In the first origin theory, the recipe was, somehow, created by accident by King Louis XV, according to the source.
He ended up starving one evening and ran out of ingredients.
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What he had was onions, butter and champagne, which he combined to create what is said today to be the first French onion soup.
Another origin theory is that Stanislas Leszczynski, Duke of Lorraine, popularized the recipe.
Based on this theory, he tasted the soup for the first time in a Champagne inn. He loved the soup so much that he decided to make a similar one.
He then shared the recipe at the Palace of Versailles, according to corkdining.com.
What is the difference between French Onion Soup and French Onion Soup?
Before you shop for ingredients, you’ll want to jot down a few key factors for whipping up an authentic French onion soup.
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For regular onion soup, there are usually many different types of onions, unlike French onion soup, which is made with yellow onions.
French onion soup uses beef broth.
For the onion soup, any type of broth or broth can be used.
You’ll also notice that most French onion soup recipes call for Gruyere, Emmental, or Swiss cheese, while onion soup recipes usually call for cheddar.
The final difference between the two is the bread used. Naturally, most French onion soups require a baguette, while the options for onion soup are wider and any type of stale bread will do.
Ingredients for French Onion Soup
- 64 ounces beef broth
- 6 yellow onions
- French baguette
- Gruyere cheese
- ½ cup white wine (preferably dry)
- ¼ cup cognac
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 stalks of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
French onion soup recipe
Start cooking your onion soup by caramelizing the onions. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and the six sliced yellow onions. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the butter, to the onion pan and cover with a lid.
You don’t need a ton of butter here because the onions will release juice into the pan on their own.
Here, you’ll want to stir your onions every few minutes to avoid burning them. The onions should be caramelized and translucent before adding them to the broth later.
While the onions cook, add the beef broth, brandy and white wine to a large pot on the stove over low to medium heat. Cover with a lid and let the wine and brandy cook.
When your onions are soft and golden, add them to the broth and also include any leftover butter. Add thyme leaves from three or four stalks of herbs, two bay leaves and three peeled and chopped fresh garlic cloves. Salt and pepper to taste and cover with a lid.
When stirring the soup, be sure to scrape the sides of the pot.
The buildup of broth stuck to the edges will help thicken the soup. Cook the soup for at least 40 minutes on the stove or longer if you prefer.
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the French baguette into a size that will fit your ovenproof soup bowls. Butter both sides of the bread and place it on a baking sheet in the oven to bake until dry and crispy.
The butter will help the baguette slices crisp up nicely. Remove bread slices when they appear toasted.
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When you are ready to serve your soup, add a slice of bread to the soup bowl and, one full ladle at a time, add the soup to the bowl.
Cover the top of the soup bowl with a slice of Gruyere and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.