I have wanted to make French Onion Soup for quite some time now, simply because my hubby loves it so much. But, I guess I just never got it. A bowl of onions and broth…say what? I didn’t think it could really be that mind blowing. I was wrong though, because this soup is fabulous!
I knew my bestie and her fiancé had a recipe for French Onion Soup, so I asked her for it and she graciously told me how to make it. The only difference is that they use beef broth and chicken bouillon, if I’m not mistaken. I instead decided to give it a try with vegetable broth and it worked like a charm. The flavor was still bold and rich.
We were happily surprised by just how yummy this French Onion Soup tasted. The caramelized onions is where the flavors at, so don’t try to rush it. You’ll really need to be patient and let the onions do their thing. And because it does take quite a while, this is probably best saved for a weekend meal when you may have a touch more time.
This recipe calls for a heaping amount of onions, but no worries because, as the onions caramelize, they cook down considerably. And well, we wanted lots and lots of onions because…what’s French Onion Soup without loads of onions?
As the onions caramelize, they leave little brown bits of goodness on the bottom of the pot, which lend amazing flavor to the broth. So, as you pour in the broth, scrape up the bits and let the flavors mix and mingle, and get all rich together. Yessss, please.
Now for the best part, in my opinion anyway—CHEESE! Oooh, and crusty Italian bread. Maybe I should have used French bread? You know, since this is French Onion Soup and all. On second thought, I love my Italian bread far too much. Really, what I’m trying to say is…feel free to use whatever bread you love!
I maybe, kind of took a shortcut. With the bread and melted cheese. I bought my very first blog prop—yep, that cute little brown bowl you see in the pictures—and I wasn’t quite sure if it was ovenproof, so I didn’t chance it. Just imagine if the bowl broke in the oven…what a mess that’d be. Ick!
So anyway, I toasted the bread in the toaster, covered it with a piece of provolone cheese, and then popped it under the broiler for a few minutes. From there, I gently placed it in the soup bowl. I was super nervous it wouldn’t turn out, but it worked beautifully. So, even if you don’t have ovenproof bowls, you can still make this soup with the trademark crusty bread and melted cheese.
Wait, did I mention that this recipe is super easy? Like ridiculously easy. Fascinating how so few ingredients can make such a flavorful soup. Yes, the onions take a good long while, but it’s all worth it in the end.
A big ol’ thank you to my bestie for this recipe! I know you’re going to love it just as much as we did.
- 5-6 lbs. of onions—thinly sliced (yep, you read that correctly)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 12 garlic cloves—minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley
- ⅛ tsp. dried thyme (a little goes a long way)
- 3 (32 oz.) containers vegetable broth
- Crusty bread
- Provolone cheese
- Add the butter and oil to a large stock pot set over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter melts, add the onions and stir to coat. Cook until the onions are fully caramelized (deeply golden in color), about 1 hour or so, stirring every 5-10 minutes. I covered the pot for the first 40 minutes or so—each time you lift the lid, let the water from the lid drip back into the pot. This will help keep the onions moist. You may need to reduce the heat to medium toward the end to prevent the onions from sticking and burning.
- Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme. Stir to combine.
- Carefully pour the vegetable broth into the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, pour the soup into ovenproof bowls. Toast a few slices of bread—you can leave them whole, or cut them into small cubes (like croutons). Add the bread to the soup bowl and cover with a piece of provolone cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is all melty and lovely. Alternatively, if you don’t have ovenproof bowls, place the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Lay a slice of provolone cheese on top of each piece of bread and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Carefully transfer the cheesy bread to the soup bowls.