It has been a very long time since I have had a bowl of French Onion Soup, it’s one of my favorites but I rarely eat it. I don’t think I’ve ever made it either, at least that I can remember. This soup is not traditional, French onion soup is made using beef stock. Instead of beef stock I made a mushroom stock and honestly you cannot tell the difference. The stock was made a few days in advance by simply simmering dried mushrooms (I used cepe) with onion and carrot, strain and store in the refrigerator. I simmered it for about 4 hours so it was rich and meaty (without the meat). The soup came together pretty quickly, caramelizing the onions took a little time, about 30 minutes. All together it took a little over an hour to put this together. You can use commercially prepared broth of course, beef or vegetable and I am sure it would be just as good. The star of the show is the caramelized onions which give this soup it’s distinctive flavor. I served with wine, Syrah from Pug Wine, couldn’t resist the cute pug on the label and the wine is wonderful.
4 oz dried mushrooms (shiitake, cepe or whatever you want to use)
8 cups water
1 onion peeled and cut in half
1 carrot peeled and cut in half
Season with salt and pepper if you like, I didn’t
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer and let cook uncovered for about 4 hours. Let cool, strain and place in lidded jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Save the strained mushrooms and freeze, you can use them for mushroom soup.
French Onion Soup
4 small onions peeled and thinly sliced
4 tbs butter
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp flour
1/2 cup wine (white or red)
4 cups mushroom stock (or whatever you want to use)
1 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
baguette cut into slices
Gruyere, comte or raclette cut into think slices (I used raclette)
Some grated parmigiana
Melt butter in saucepan and add the onions, thyme and bay leaf and sugar . Cook stirring frequently on medium high heat. When onions are soft and starting to brown reduce heat to low and let cook until caramelized stirring frequently takes about 30 minutes.
Making the Soup
Add the flour to the onions and cook for approximately 1 minute, add the wine and when it starts bubbling add the stock and water. Cook on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes. Soup will thicken slightly. While soup is cooking heat the oven to 350 degree’s place the bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes turning over after about 8-10 minutes. Remove bread from the oven and turn on the broiler.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, ladle soup in bowls, add toasted bread one or two slices depending on the size of the bread. Top with the sliced cheese and sprinkle with a little parmigiana.
Place the bowls on baking sheet and broil for about 8 minutes until cheese bubbles and is lightly browned. Remove from oven let cool for a couple of minutes and serve.
Have to show a photo of the bottle of wine, love the label and the wine is so good.