There are many schools of thought on the best way to make French onion soup: Beef stock or chicken stock. White wine, red wine or no wine. Yellow onion, white onion or Vidalia onion. Gruyere, provolone or swiss cheese.
Much of it comes down to preferences. I tried making it with sweet onions and the result was too sweet for my taste. Red wine makes a lovely, deep-colored broth, but it can more easily overpower the other flavors in your broth than white wine. Gruyere adds a nice nuttiness to the dish; provolone is milder and melts a bit better.
Many recipes call for flour to thicken the broth. But I found it just makes the broth cloudy and thickening isn’t necessary as the bread on top soaks up some of the broth.
As you can tell from our Omaha’s Great Grub hunt, there are a number of places to get a good bowl of French onion soup in Omaha. But it’s also fun to make it at home.
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French Onion Soup
8 cups sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
6 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 garlic clove
1½ cups shredded Gruyere
1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. When the butter begins to bubble, turn the heat to medium-low and add the onions.
2. Stir to coat onions in butter/oil. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Once onions are clear and tender, turn up the heat to medium-high. Add sugar and salt and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Cook until the onions begin to thoroughly brown and caramelize. Watch them closely, they can burn quickly.
4. Reduce heat to medium, add 1 cup wine to deglaze the pan.
5. Add beef stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, sample the soup and add salt and/or pepper to taste.
6. While the soup is simmering, cut the baguette into ½-inch thick slices and toast under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes per side, careful not to burn them.
7. When baguette slices are removed from the oven, rub a garlic clove over one side of the bread.
8. Remove bay leaves. Ladle soup into a bowl or soup mug and top with a baguette slice or two depending on size. Sprinkle generously with shredded Gruyere. Put under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve.
9. Alternately, if you don’t have bowls that are safe to go under the broiler, add cheese to the top of the bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Then add slices of bread with cheese to the top of the soup.(tncms-asset)23159f18-b93f-11ed-89cc-ffcf3d2a008b(/tncms-asset)
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