I offer my French Onion Soup as an apology for my absence...
My recipe for French Onion Soup was recently served to my dinner guests who gave it rave reviews. They agreed that it was the best they had ever had. Perhaps my secret ingredient made all the difference. Read on and find out more.
This is probably one of the easiest soups to make and certainly one that will impress your dinner guests as it always does with mine. Soupe a l'Onion as it is called in France is a wonderful dish that doesn't call for a laundry list of ingredients or numerous steps in preparation. Most important, it doesn't take all day to make. Don't get me wrong, great Chefs will painstakingly take the time to make their beef stock from scratch; however, today there is wonderful pre made beef stock (or broth) available in your neighborhood market. Make sure that you purchase a good quality stock for this recipe as it will make all the difference if you choose not to make your own from scratch. One important thing that I should point out is the day before you make this savory dish, purchase a French Baguette and cut it in 1 inch pieces. Allow the bread pieces to dry in a paper bag overnight.
I mentioned earlier that in this recipe, there is a secret ingredient added that will take your French Onion Soup to a whole new level. Well, the suspense will be held no longer..... add 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce to your beef stock and you won't believe the difference it makes, guaranteed! OK, here's what we need for a serving for 4 dinner guests:
4 large yellow onions, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 French Baguette (previously cut in 1 inch pieces and dried)
12 to 16 oz. of grated Gruyere cheese (do not substitute)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
48 oz of beef stock (or broth)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
parsley for garnish
Have all your prep work done ahead of time as usual. This shouldn't take much time at all. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic and saute, stirring frequently until onions are nicely translucent and beginning to caramelize. This enhances the flavor of the onion.
Now add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and slow cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, covered. Add your desired black pepper and taste to check for salt content. If you want it saltier, add a bit of it as well. Preheat your oven to 425.
Gather 4 individual oven safe soup tureens and ladle enough of the soup to fill each tureen to 3/4 full. Add a layer of the bread, then a layer of the grated cheese. Finally, add a few more pieces of the bread at the center and finish off with additional grated cheese. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. For a finishing touch, set on broil for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish each tureen with some chopped parsley and serve hot.
A wonderful salad of greens tossed in a light French vinegrette dressing will make a wonderful compliment to this dish, along with a slightly chilled white Burgundy wine. Enjoy.