First of all, let us try to know what exactly Soup means, when it comes to the food courses:
It was as far back as 6000 BC that the Historians have found evidence of soup and the research says that a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop selling a highly concentrated inexpensive soup called restaurant in 1765.
Soup is a dish with liquid food in which various kinds of solid food have been cooked, something like different types of meat, Seafood, fowl, vegetables, cereals, or fruit and used as an appetizer kind of food course served as the first course of substantial meal, for the purpose of stimulating the appetite for the rest of the heavier foods to follow.
Soups vary widely as to dietary value. The clear, delicately seasoned ones are important as appetizers and appetite stimulants; while the more substantial ones, like chowders, form, with the addition of bread, a one-dish meal.
The peculiarity of the soups mainly depends upon the localities, there are many such soups, e.g., the French Onion Soup of France, the borscht of Russia, the mutton broth of Scotland, the minestrone of Italy, and the chowders of various seacoast places.
The modern version of the soup has evolved from a basic recipe where onions were sliced, fried and then cooked in water and would typically be served with bread and capers. It was only in the nineteenth century that cooks started adding flour, salt and pepper and topped the soup with cheeses such as Gruyere.
Now let us move and get into the details of what actually is the French Onion Soup:
French onion soup is a classic French soup, lightly bound with a little flour and often eaten with grated cheese (Gruyere, classically). It can be sprinkled over oven-baked croutons or sprinkled over the soup when the croutons are already baked.
These days, French Onion Soup Recipe is often made with caramelized onion in a meaty broth and often served in individual ramekins and topped with grilled Gruyere cheese.
There are few things more comforting than making a real French onion soup – slowly cooked, caramelized onions that turn mellow and sweet in a broth laced with white wine and Cognac.
As the name itself suggests, obviously an important element in the traditional preparation of the French Onion Soup is to properly caramelize the onions.
Caramelizing is nothing but a process that gets into act, when the sugar in the onions reaches a certain temperature and the time required for caramelizing the amount of onions needed for a recipe the has a yield that fulfill 5-6 Serves, will be approximately 45 minutes.
In other words, to caramelize 6 onions (weighing approximately 3 Pounds), you will need 45 minutes. Please keep one thing in the mind that the more caramelized, the deeper the color of the onions and the more flavor you’ll get from them.
Another equally important ingredient in the traditional preparation of the French Onion Soup is the ‘stock’, just keep in mind that the end result will only be as good as the stock you are using. In any case, for many reasons you may happen to use boxed stock, if so, taste it first! If you don’t like the taste, simply reject it.
Now let us go through a recipe for the preparation of the French Onion Soup that has the yield of 5 to 6 serves, with a span of time of 10 minutes for the preparation and 70 minutes for the cooking:
Bay leaves: 2.
Sugar: 1 teaspoon.
Butter: 2 Tablespoons.
Salt: According to taste.
Cloves Garlic, minced: 2.
Olive oil: 4 Tablespoons.
Black Pepper Powder: 1/2 Teaspoon.
Slices of Baguette (French bread): 8.
Dry Vermouth or dry white wine: 1/2 cup.
Dry Thyme – 2 teaspoons or Fresh Thyme – 4 teaspoons.
1 to 1.5 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Big sized yellow or red onions, peeled and thinly sliced root to stem: 6 (Approximate weight about 3 pounds).
Beef stock, Chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock): 8 Cups.
Brandy: 2 Tablespoons (This is totally optional and you can add if you use it, somewhere in the later stage of preparation of this soup).
Step by Step Procedure of the preparation of ‘French Onion Soup’:
Step 1: Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot on medium heat.
Step 2: Add the onions and toss and mix them lightly to get coated with the olive oil and then cook the onions about 15 to 20 minutes, so that they get softened, but do not forget to stir often during this process.
Step 3: Now add 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with butter and continue cooking for further more 15 minutes, by increasing the heat to a bit medium high, but again do not forget to stir often during this process, until the onions get turned to brown.
Step 4: Then get it done the process of caramelizing, which can done by sprinkling sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes and then it is time to add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
Step 5: Add the vermouth to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
Step 6: Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and to maintain a low simmer, just decrease the heat to a bit lower side and cook for about 1/2 an hour. Seasoning to can be done according taste by adding more salt and add freshly ground black pepper, discard the bay leaves and adding brandy is optional (add if using).
Step 6: Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven, meanwhile let the soup keep simmering.
Step 7: Then use some olive oil about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons for brushing up both sides of the slices of Baguette (French Bread) smoothly, so as to put in the oven and toast about 5 to 7 minutes, until they get lightly browned and then remove from oven.
Step 8: Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it’s close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Now intensely flavored ‘French Onion Soup’ is all ready to serve and to do so, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.
Though there are many other recipes for onion soup, but we are very much sure that it’s pretty safe to say that you will love this particularly, because what you’re getting here is such a real recipe that beats all others.
Is there anything more comforting on a chilly day than a hot bowl of French onion soup? Especially with a thick slice of toasted bread loaded with melty Gruyere cheese and lots of caramelized onions.
So, if you are the real food lovers especially the onion soup lovers and then you too can easily have a try by following the above recipe and prepare a tasty and traditional French Onion Soup so that you can serve it to all of your family and friends, so as to make them to enjoy the well finished off product with crunchy baked croutons of crusty bread topped with melted, toasted cheese, so that they can happily comment that, ‘if ever there was a winter stomach warmer, without a doubt this is it!