Classic French Onion Soup
The inspiration behind finally cooking French Onion Soup sparked during our travels to Montreal, ON.
The complementing flavour of brandy, red wine, and herbs and spices such as, thyme, rosemary, black peppercorn, plus a good beef and chicken broth is truly a classic French flavor profile.
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This recipe yields ~6 single serving
3 Big Sweet Onion
2 Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
4 Tablespoons Brandy/Cognac, To Taste
1.5 Cups Red Wine, To Taste
2 Liters Beef Stock
1 Liter Chicken Stock
2 Sprigs Rosemary
2 Sprigs Thyme
4 Leaves Bay Leaves
10 Black Peppercorns
Salt, To Taste
- Add butter and oil on a pot to heat. Add in onions on low to medium heat until onions sweat and start to caramelize. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly to avoid burning of onions. Caramelize until deep brown color and sweet.
- Make a small space on the pot to add in your garlic and sauté for a minute or two.
- Pour in brandy and cook off the alcohol.
- Deglaze the pot with red wine. Stir to scrape fond formed on the pot.
- Add beef stock and chicken stock.
- Create a sachet d’épices – a sachet of herbs, spices, and/or aromatics to flavour soup – and add in the soup.
- Let soup cook for 30 minutes with the sachet d’épices.
- If soup is bland, try to cook the soup longer so as to reduce and concentrate the flavour – to taste.
- Season to taste.
- Scoop a single portion of soup onto an oven-safe bowl – typically, terracotta material. Push in a slice of baguette in the soup to soak, and top with Swiss Cheese. Broil until cheese is golden. A Classic French Onion Soup is topped with melted Gruyere.
- Add more beef stock than chicken. 75% beef.
- I like the strong flavour of brandy and red wine together, paired with slightly overpowering essence of thyme. So, in this recipe, you may find that the soup could taste a little stronger to your taste. I advise to lower on herbs, spices, or flavoring you are not so much a fan of, and adjust accordingly to your taste at the end. If you are adjusting to put more herbs and spices, put these adjustments while the soup is hot and make sure to let herbs and spices steep in the soup.
- I add a bit of salt while sauteing the onions. As salt pulls moisture from the onions, this help speed up the process of caramelizing the onions.