By tradition, this French onion soup recipe is served to newlyweds on their wedding night in France. Try to imagine that you've just been married and are settling down for your first night of matrimonial bliss with your beloved and into the room bursts a whole lot of singing and laughing people bearing a tureen of steaming soup. You are obliged to eat some to get the revelers out of the room and on their way. Sort of a nutty tradition, eh?
No need to get married or stay up all night long though to enjoy this excellent soup. With it's French bread and cheese topping, it makes a satisfying meal just by itself, perfect for any winter night.
Here are a few tips for making perfect French onion soup and then the recipe itself:
The one essential step in making a good onion soup is to take your time in cookingthe onions. It can take more then half an hour to get the necessary caramelization that gives this French onion soup recipe all of its good taste. Since you have to stir the onions frequently to keep them from browning, it is a good idea to have something else to do in the kitchen at the same time. You can clean up and set the table for example.
Usually the soup is served into individual oven proof bowls then topped with the bread and cheese before baking, but there is no need to go out and buy a bunch of new equipment if you just want to try this for a first time. Simply bake the soup in any oven proof dish and then serve from that. The effect will be a little different, but the taste will still be excellent.
In France this French onion soup recipe is normally made with Gruyere cheese, but you may not be able to find that, so Swiss cheese is a good substitute
2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and sliced into rings
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts of beef stock
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup of white wine
Salt and pepperloaf of French bread, cubed
1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss cheese
Cook the onions in the olive oil on low to medium heat stirring frequently. It should take about 30 minutes to get a good caramelization effect. Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Now add the beef stock and wine and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls (or use a single large oven proof dish), making sure that everyone gets plenty of onions. Place cubes of French bread to cover and than sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350° F oven for 10 minutes, broiling for the last few minutes to brown slightly.