French Onion Soup (Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée)

A true classic: French onion soup. Slowly caramelised onions and cheesy slabs of toasted garlicky bread…

This one is based on a recipe from Daniel Gritzer over at Serious Eats that I already have made a couple of times now. (Yes, it’s that good)

onionsChopping up 2kg of onions will never be my favourite chore (hurray for contact lenses!!) but letting them slowly caramelise really brings out their natural sweetness. It takes quite to time as you need to stir the onions every 15 minutes or so during the 2 hours they were caramelising but it filled the kitchen with a delicious smell.

I also really like the concept of 2 layers of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and covered with seas of Gruyère cheese (even when using about 2/3rd of the 450gr from the recipe).

Put the entire bowls of soup under a hot grill to melt the cheese works well but will leave the bowls themselves piping hot too. This time I separately lightly grilled the top layer of the bread on a baking tray and then added the gruyere to brown too and just let them slide them onto the soup. Works great too and much easier to serve!

The finishing of snipped chives is also unexpected surprise as it adds a totally different type of onion flavour to the soup.

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe was easy to follow and the measures of ingredients work well together. The quantity is a lot more than 4 servings: I served the soup in 4 ramen bowls(!), and still had enough left for 2 more servings, but I can’t see that as a bad thing…

The only thing in the recipe that (still) puzzles me is that you have to season the caramelised unions before adding the dry sherry, (vegetable or chicken) stock, cider vinegar, thyme and a bay leaf. To prevent over seasoning, I just skipped that step. Once I left out the (optional) fish sauce as I thought the soup was already well seasoned and this time I replaced it with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Suggested tweaks:
The recipe calls for simmering 2 sprigs of thyme in the soup for the last 20 minutes and removing them before serving. Personally, I prefer to add tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves.

As the soup gets (even) better over time, I highly recommend to prepare it a day ahead.

Verdict: 10/10; We have a winner…

2 thoughts on “French Onion Soup (Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée)

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