Buckle up, we’re diving into a flavourful adventure, creating the ultimate French Onion Soup.
750 grams brown onions (a mix of red, yellow, and brown could add depth)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon of crushed black peppercorns
600 ml of dry Riesling
1/4 cup of brandy or Cognac (optional)
1 L of beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of baguette
1/2 cup of grated Gruyère cheese for garnish
2 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish
Begin by finely slicing the onions. Place them in a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat on a medium-low setting with a healthy splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Add the minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and peppercorns to the pan. Continue to sauté the onions until they start to caramelize and turn a dark amber colour.
Note: The process of caramelizing onions involves cooking them very slowly until their natural sugars break down and caramelize, turning the onions a rich, brown colour. While it is possible to achieve caramelization within 30 minutes, allowing them to cook for a full hour will help to further develop and enhance the complex flavours.
Once the onions have caramelized, optionally deglaze the pan with a 1/4 cup of brandy or Cognac, and cook it off for a couple of minutes.
Pour in the wine and beef stock. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for another hour.
Season the soup with salt and pepper according to your preference.
Divide the soup between bowls. Lay a slice of baguette on each bowl, then sprinkle the grated Gruyère cheese over the baguette. If your bowls are oven-safe, place them under a grill until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you don’t have a grill or oven-safe bowls, toast the baguette slices topped with cheese in the oven until the cheese is melted, then place these on top of the soup. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley for garnish.
During the simmering process, keep an eye on the liquid level. If it seems to be reducing too much, you can add more stock or water to maintain the volume. Remember, cooking is both a science and an art, so feel free to adjust based on what you observe while you cook.
Enjoy your homemade French Onion Soup!