French onion soup is a classic, for sure. And it’s actually quite easy to make! The secret is in cooking down those onions till they are dark brown and caramelized. This is what lends the soup all that flavor, so don’t rush it!
To achieve the perfect flavor and color, add a bit of sugar to draw out the onion’s sweetness, and then saute for close to an hour over a low flame. This is mostly hands-off as you only have to give an occasional stir. It will be worth the wait.
We’ve tweaked the topping a bit for this recipe, replacing the single slice of toasted bread with easy-to-make croutons. As the croutons are already bite-sized, they scoop up quite easily with a spoon – no cutting required!
French Onion Soup:
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Herb bundle of 10 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 4 slices sandwich bread, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and salt and pepper to taste, reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be a deep, caramelized color. Add the herb bundle and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the soup is cooking pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes and olive oil and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes, or till golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Raise the oven temperature to broil.
Divide the soup evenly between 4 heatproof bowls or ramekins. Top each with some of the croutons and top the croutons with the shredded cheese. Broil till the cheese is melted and bubbly, watching carefully. Serve immediately.