Here is how I cook French Onion Soup. Simple and Tasty. You can customize it the way you like and/or upgrade by adding fancy ingredients and implementing additional cooking methods. Here is the recipe for 101 students :-)
Let's start with the ingredients ... Hmmm French Onion Soup, so there must be onions ... yeah. But, how many? Good question. Then, answer: "For how many people?" 4, 8, 10, .... etc. Then, that many large onions are needed. White and/or Yellow Onions are both fine. Today, let's prepare for 4 people. Here are the ingredients:
Chop the onions; no need to be precise, we just need big chunks :-) add a mixture of butter (1 table spoon) and olive oil (4 table spoons). cook onions on HIGH for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, mince the garlic and stir the onions occasionally. Add the garlic once the onions have been cooked for 10 minutes.
IMPORTANT POINTS: Butter / Olive Oil Ratio, adding garlic after 10 minutes
After adding the garlic, cook on HIGH for another 40 minutes (time may vary), keep stirring we do not want to burn anything! but yeah ... it takes a lot of time and it is a pretty good exercise :-)
and finally ! this is what we want to reach (see picture on left), ... not burnt but almost :-D at this point, season your mix. I use only SALT, BLACK PEPPER, OREGANO and some THYME.
IMPORTANT POINTS: Get close to the burning level but do not burn anything! We want onions to acquire a really dark brown color, but not burnt.
Add the Flour (3-4 table spoons of flour would be enough, however the amount may vary according to your taste and your liking of how dense you want your soup to be). Then, start stirring for another 3 minutes, DO NOT STOP, I know it is little bit hard but this is one of the key steps. The flour has to be mixed well with onion mixture and cooked thoroughly. If you do this step right, you deserve the trophy.
IMPORTANT POINTS: 3-minute stirring of flour - onion mixture.
Add 100mL of hot water and let the mix absorb it. This step is crucial. Keep stirring and make sure that the mix absorbs the liquid well before you move to the next step.
NOTE THAT THE HEAT HAS BEEN ALWAYS ON HIGH AND WILL BE ON HIGH TILL STEP 7.
IMPORTANT POINTS: The added water has to be HOT.
Now, here is the part where we will take our soup to a new level. Let's enhance the taste. The best way to do is to use homemade Beef Broth. Packaged beef broths may equally work for the purpose. In case there are vegetarians in your party, you can replace Beef Broth with .... Chicken Broth (ohhhh wait very bad joke !) :-) ... with Vegetable Broth as well. Add the broth and stir the mixture gently for 2 minutes.
IMPORTANT STEPS: Add 1 liter broth slowly into the mixture while stirring it.
THE HEAT IS STILL ON HIGH and we added the broth and have been stirring the mixture since then. Once you start to see the bubbles on the surface, you move to step 7.
IMPORTANT POINTS: KEEPING THE HEAT ON HIGH TILL STEP 7
Cover the top and let it stay on MEDIUM HEAT for 15 minutes and on LOW HEAT for another 15 minutes. There are traditional ways to serve the FRENCH ONION SOUP. I will not go deep into that, but make some remarks (see below).
IMPORTANT POINTS: Based on your liking, you can add more hot water before STEP 7. The soup tastes much better the following day. I suggest that you cook this soup and refrigerate it on the night before the day you intend to serve.
HOW TO SERVE IT?
The most popular way to serve this soup is to place a bed of croutons at the bottom of a soup bowl (which is oven safe), fill up the bowl with the soup and cover the top with a generous portion of grated cheese (fontina and gruyere are two most popular options, but my favorite is apple-wood smoked provolone or gouda), then put it in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Actually, the way you serve this amazingly delicious soup is up to your creativity. Please let me know if you find other ways of serving. It pairs perfectly with Burgundy wine, preferably those with earthy notes of mushroom.
I HOPE YOU WILL ALL ENJOY!
If you want to make your loved ones (wife, husband, kids, guests, friends, ... etc) happy, this is a great recipe you can try. Please share your comments and let me know how we can improve this recipe. Hence the above introduction is just "FRENCH ONION SOUP 101" :-) I believe you can do much better than this.