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French Onion Soup

Cooking the onions for a very long time over low heat mellows their flavor. Don't stir them too often or they won't caramelize. This soup tastes best when made with homemade beef stock.

  • Servings: 6
French Onion Soup

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1999

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch into half circles
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 3 cups Homemade Beef Stock Homemade Beef Stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small French baguette, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 3 cups)

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot on medium-low heat. Add onions. Spread them out in as thin a layer as possible. Sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring just as needed to keep onions from sticking, until they are melting and soft, golden brown, and beginning to caramelize, about 1 hour.

  2. Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat. Add sherry, stock, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Meanwhile, lightly toast bread under a broiler; set aside. Ladle hot soup into six ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a baking pan. Place 1 or 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully that bread doesn't burn. Serve immediately.

Reviews (23)

  • maureen1900 15 Oct, 2014

    Not good; sweet to the extreme. Throwing out the broth and onions; husband and I cannot eat this. Caramelized onions have their own natural sweetness - I should have listened to my first instincts when I read this recipe and left out the teaspoon of sugar and the sherry. Also, will double the cheese on top. I am using dedicated French Onion bowls which look quite a bit larger than the ones shown in the picture - maybe that is why there was only a thin spattering of cheese on top.

  • 5JL 31 Aug, 2014

    I make this with a few modifications:

    - more butter (about 1.5 sticks)
    -instead of sherry use a zin or cab
    - stock can be vegetable or turkey/ chicken
    - add reduced balsamic vinegar instead of sugar (about .25 cup)
    -1/2 tsp minced garlic

    Love. Definitely think gruyere cheese is the way to go. It's a distinct difference.

  • 0SENNA0 25 Feb, 2014

    I added extra tea.s sugar and that really ruined the taste.
    But after fixing it it tasted really really great.
    I added half a cup flour and that really helped with the color and flavor.
    didn't use dried cherries.
    I will absolutely make it again with more flour, less sugar and no cherries. I might try to make it more creamy to match my family taste maybe adding milk and cream will do it.

  • cokiethebaby 27 Jan, 2014

    I saw her make this on the show and thought I would make it, but as a severely altered version cause I didn't have most ingredients, I didnt use wine or cooking sherry, i made my own so called broth using the water, 4 restaurant packets of soy sauce, 1 pack of chicken bullion from oodles of noodles and a splash of vinegar, I only had bay leaves and dries basil.... and used mozerella cheese also. It tasted great & is a yummy comfort food! I may skip the sugar on the onions next time though.

  • luvinit 20 Sep, 2013

    This soup is near perfect. I cut down a little on the sherry (used xtra dry), and instead of thyme, added a cheesecloth satchel of herbs de provence for seasoning and a bay leaf (if I had fresh thyme I'd have used that). A nice rustic baguette with a firm crust works best. Gruyere melts great but if you're on a budget a good quality swiss will work almost as well. Delish!

  • Mrs gosse2 16 Jan, 2013

    Made it. It was really good. I used a mixture of mozz, white cheddar and swiss as my family is not big on swiss. I used a bagguette for the bread. My onions were pretty sweet so I would have like it to be a little more savory.

  • annie_cz 21 Jan, 2012

    This one tops all of the other French onion soups have made in the past.

  • annie_cz 21 Jan, 2012

    This one tops all of the other French onion soups have made in the past.

  • annie_cz 21 Jan, 2012

    This one tops all of the other French onion soups have made in the past.

  • BelaGrotto 5 Nov, 2010

    Kmc2, you?Ǭ

  • AMASSEU 7 Mar, 2009

    IS THERE ANY TYPE OF NON-ALCOHOLIC SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SHERRY - WE DO NOT CONSUME ANY ALCOHOL - BE IT FOR COOKING OR DRINKING???

  • Kmc2 28 Feb, 2009

    Why in the world would anyone add thyme to onion soup? It is not ment to be italian spagetti .......?

  • foxylady1081 2 Feb, 2009

    I made this soup last night for myself and a friend and we were both blown away! It is fantastic! And so easy too. I did cook the onions for one hour and had great flavor. I will try the balsamic vinegar next time.

  • TJsLove 9 Apr, 2008

    MMMmmm....this is a classic - so easy too. Even better homemade. I find that the onions are caramellized enough in about 30 minutes so don't let the hour for cooking the onions deter from making this. I'm sure its wonderful after an hour, but it's tough on a week night!
    Adedoyina - not sure if you're looking for non alcoholic sub, but you can use white wine (sauvignon blanc is good) or a dry red wine in place of the sherry. The sherry is delicious though.

  • adedoyina 1 Apr, 2008

    is there anyway i can substitute the sherry with something else? if so, what?

  • Nan_C 1 Apr, 2008

    anitalasanowski, would like you to share info on how you canned this soup and if you have any othe soups you have canned please share this is what I would like to do

  • bakeaholic 9 Mar, 2008

    Wow Anita. My birthday is in November and you're invited! That's a great gift for a foodie.

  • anitalasanowski 22 Feb, 2008

    I canned this soup. I put it in a basket along with a baguette, gruyere,six bowls with handels,a laminated recipe card and monagramed napkins and gave it to my daughter as a birthday gift. She loved it !

  • anitalasanowski 22 Feb, 2008

    I canned this soup. I put it in a basket along with a baguette, gruyere , six broiling bowls with handels

  • redharmony1 22 Jan, 2008

    Jessiekaye - your idea for adding balsamic vinegar and maple syrup sounds wonderful, but exactly how much of each? I have never made this soup before, but it is my 8 year old daughter's favorite, so I would like to make it for her. Have you ever been to Paris? (your vacation preference...) I went to college there and lived there for a year. It really is as special as you expect. Thank you for your time and for sharing.

  • redharmony1 22 Jan, 2008

    Jessiekaye - your idea for adding balsamic vinegar and maple syrup sounds wonderful, but exactly how much of each? I have never made this soup before, but it is my 8 year old daughter's favorite, so I would like to make it for her. Have you ever been to Paris? (your vacation preference...) I went to college there and lived there for a year. It really is as special as you expect. Thank you for your time and for sharing.

  • jessiekaye 4 Jan, 2008

    If you want them to taste like magic, yes, that is really how long it takes. It's true that a low heat and longer cooking time improves the taste of the onions. When making this soup, I also like to add a few cloves of garlic, and prefer to use a little balsamic vinegar and maple syrup instead of basic sugar. Happy souping!!

  • Denise_Steinbock 11 Nov, 2007

    One hour to carmelize onions seems a lot. Is that really how long this takes?

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