This is an original recipe by Thomas Keller posted on GastroChick.com. This soup is so amazing I could never take credit for it. So many recipes for French Onion soup skimp on the time to caramelize the onions, but the lengthy caramelization is what provides that amazing depth in a loving, patiently prepared, French Onion Soup. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Note from GastroChick: Keep an eye on your onions when cooking, if you notice there is too much liquid in the pan turn up the heat and make sure you dry them out a little otherwise they will boil instead of caramelize.
- For the Soup:.
- Cut of tops and bottoms of the onions, then cut the onions lengthwise in half.
- Remove the peels and tough outer layers. Cut a V wedge in each one to remove the core.
- Lay an onion half cut side down on a cutting board with the root end towards you. Note that there are lines on the outside of the onion. Cutting on the lines (with the grain) rather than against them will help the onions soften.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy stockpot over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook stirring every 15 minutes and regulating the heat to keep the mixture bubbling gently, for about 1 hour, or until the onions have wilted and released a lot of liquid.
- Continue to stir the onions every 15 minutes being sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pot, for about 3 hours or until the onions are caramelized throughout.
- Sift in the flour and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the beef stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper.
- For the Croutons:.
- Preheat the broiler/grill.
- Cut 12 3/8 inch thick slices from the baguette (reserve the remainder for another use) and place on a baking sheet.
- Brush the bread lightly on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Place under the broiler/grill and toast the first side until golden brown then turn and brown the second side.
- Set aside and leave the broiler on.
- To Complete:.
- Place six flameproof soup bowls, with about 1 ½ cups capacity on a baking sheet to catch any spills. Add the hot soup to the bowls and lay the croutons on top.
- Cover with Gruyere.
- Place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese bubbles, browns and forms a thick crust.
- Eat carefully the soup will be very hot.
- Cooks Note: One of the most unpleasant tasks associated with French Onion soup is chopping the mounds of onions required. I've found that if I wear my sunglasses, pushed as far up my nose as possible, the tears never really come. When sliced, onions produce a gas that mixes with your natural tears creating an acid very similar to sulfuric acid. By wearing the sunglasses so close to your eyes it doesn't allow the gas to get inches Works like a charm!