French onion soup is one of those simplistic recipes that should be your go-to winter warmer, especially when you're stuck indoors. Here are a few variations of how to cook classic French onion soup.
The main ingredient for classic French Onion soup are of course yellow onions, olive oil, butter, beef stock and white wine, then you can season in any way you wish. Salt and pepper can be used throughout cooking to get the right balance. Minced garlic can be added to the soup if you like the aromatic flavour, but many decide to leave it out.
Traditionally the herbs that add flavour to French onion soup are fresh thyme and bay leaves, and it is usually served piping hot, with croutons or a slice of bread with Swiss cheese - preferably a tangy Gruyère. Place a baguette sliced lengthways with cheese on top on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted. Leave to cool and harden a bit while preparing the French onion soup.
Use sweet onion, yellow or white work best, but not red, as they are too sharp. Cook the onions in oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven for caramelised onion. The colour of the soup and the depth of flavour depends on how much you have caramelised the onions, some prefer a lighter, more subtle flavour, while others prefer a deeper brown onion soup.
When the onions have achieved the desired colour, add the wine and cook off before adding the beef stock. You can use vegetable stock if you prefer. Add your fresh thyme and a bay leaf or two and cook for 30 minutes. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and serve with your cheesy bread sitting on top of the soup.
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