Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Best French Onion Soup in the World!

I have ALWAYS loved french onion soup. I think I love it so much because it comes with a mountain of cheese on top of it - which I always considered the best part. I actually thought the bowl of french onion soup from TGIFridays was really good, because it was loaded with so much cheese. But looking back, I think once the cheese was gone, I didn't actually eat any of the soup! When I saw a recipe for french onion soup on Annie's Eats a couple years back, I knew I wanted to try it. At that time, I had just started getting into cooking, so I thought the recipe was really difficult to make. It turned out AMAZING, but it was a lot of work. Greg didn't think he would like it, because he has never been a fan. I remember he thought it was one of the best soups he had ever tasted (and this coming from someone who doesn't like french onion soup). I'm thankful Greg is willing to try foods that he doesn't think he will like, because it's always neat when he is pleasantly surprised.

It had been quite some time since I made the french onion soup. I decided to make it a few weeks ago when the weather was really cold, so I went out to buy the ingredients. Things came up and I was never able to make the soup before Greg and I left to go to the beach for spring break that felt like winter break. Luckily when I got home, the leeks I had bought were still good. I made the soup and this time it was so much easier. I can't even figure out why I would have thought it was hard before, but it must just be because I was still a total beginner in the kitchen. The thing that it is so great about this recipe is that the flavor of the broth and onion really stands out. It's not the cheese that is the shining star in this soup (even though I would never leave it out). The entire bowl of soup gets eaten, and it's so good that it leaves me wanting to eat even more! So yes, the weather is slightly warmer, but I'd still make the soup again before fall. I don't want to wait as long as I did to make it again. I think you'll love this recipe and I hope you find it as satisfying as I do. Enjoy! 

Recipe for The Best French Onion Soup in the World

For the broth
2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp. of sugar
2 leeks, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/4 cup of beef broth
1/4 cup of dry red wine
2 sprigs of fresh Italian leaf parsley
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/8 tsp. of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the toasty & cheesy topping
Slices of french bread
Slices of high quality Parmesan or Romano cheese

For the broth
Put the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot set over medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, add in the slices of onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Then add in the leeks and sugar. Continue to cook and stir, until the onions are caramelized (about 12 - 15 minutes). Add the pressed garlic in and cook for 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth, beef broth, and red wine. After you add in the red wine, scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add in the sprigs of parsley and thyme. Stir in the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25 - 30 minutes. Once if has finished cooking, remove the parsley and thyme from the pot. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper to taste.

Adjust your oven so the rack is in the second to highest position in the oven. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls and place them on a sturdy baking sheet. Top the soups with slices of bread and cheese. I usually try to cover the entire top with bread and layer the cheese on top of the bread slices. Put the baking sheet with the bowls into the oven under the broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly (watch it the entire time, it should take only a few minutes). Remove from oven, let rest a couple minutes, then serve!

Recipe Adapted from Annie's Eats