French Onion Soup Recipe a Bistro Classic
Imagine a steaming bowl of French onion soup (soupe à l’oignon) with a cheesy gratin topping in a lively Parisian bistro. Today the dish is almost synonymous with the French capital, but it is entirely possible to find this soup on a menu in Provence during the colder winter months.
Traditionally made with a beef broth, you can substitute a vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of the soup. The key to whichever version you make is caramelizing the onions for the intense flavour.
The Culture Trip website offers us two possible origins of this French classic, which both happen to relate to French king Louis XV (yes, the guy who married Marie Antoinette). Whichever version you believe, this is a classic you will likely find grazing the tables of more traditional French brasseries in Paris.
French Onion Soup
- 2 oz Butter
- 2 tbsp Thyme Leaves
- 2 lbs Brown Onions thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp Dry Sherry
- 40.6 oz Water or Beef or Chicken Stock fresh, cube or concentrate
- 1 Baguette sliced
- 1 Garlic Clove halved
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 10 oz Swiss Cheese grated
- Heat the butter with 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and gently cook the onion and thyme until the onion is softened but not too browned – about 20 minutes.
- Increase the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes, until the onion becomes dark golden, sticky and caramelized, stirring now and again to stop it from catching.
- Add the sherry and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the bread, rub each slice with garlic, then drizzle with a little oil.
- Sprinkle with the cheese and grill until golden and bubbling.
- Serve the soup with the cheese croutons on top.