BakeSpite: French onion soup

You know what’s so good? French onion soup.

The savory broth, the caramelized onions that practically disintegrate as they cook, the toasted topping of bread and cheese… so good. We made some today. It was… so good.

Well, mostly Cat made it. The process involved chopping and sautéing about three pounds of onions, running out to a local market to buy little oven-safe bowls as the broth simmered, and sticking said bowls into the weird little fiery panel at the bottom of the stove. The results, however, were… so good.

In its best form, French onion soup is based on a stock made from beef bones; we didn’t have that, so we went with a chicken stock instead. The soup probably could have simmered a little longer, too, as the sherry didn’t quite reduce down as much as it should have… though you’re never going to hear me complain about having a little extra sherry in a recipe. Since it wasn’t “true” French onion soup, we decided to San Francisco it up by using a sourdough baguette rather than standard white French bread; this was balanced by the use of traditional gruyere cheese on top.

The cheese and bread sit on the surface of the soup, and you place the soup bowl in the broiler for a few minutes to turn it golden brown and deliciously crusty. You can buy French onion soup mix, but that stuff is a lie. Without all the awesome fattening tastiness on top, it’s just a feeble imitation.

We decided to go true French style with a mixed greens salad (including diced chives and parsley) with radicchio and a glass of the Baldovino wine that arrived last week in the first shipment of the wine-of-the-month club Cat got me for Christmas. It made for a much-needed break from the crazy non-stop work I’ve been doing this weekend in preparation for tomorrow’s Vita pre-launch madness.

11 thoughts on “BakeSpite: French onion soup

    • Oh, man. The French would make insulting little scoffing noises at you if they heard you suggest that one should ever eat anything other than French bread, let alone that such heresy was traditional.

  1. I can’t find a good recipe for it online at the moment, but I have to suggest you try making a French onion pizza in the near future. It’s the soup distilled down to the onions on a pizza dough topped with…well, I guess you could use gruyere if you prefer it. My wife and I have our own version of the recipe that mixes different kinds of onions then adds in bacon and blue cheese. It’s highly recommended, and again I wish I could find a good recipe for you.

  2. Wasn’t the bread soaked and moist? I generally try to avoid bread in my food, because I really don’t like that squishy feeling (and the taste!) .

  3. Wow! This looks delicious. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had ‘true’ french onion soup like this…

    Unfortunately, that recipe looks a little too much for me. Such is college life.

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