French onion (and I’m not really sure what makes it French) soup is delicious, which I don’t have to tell you if you’ve already had it, and much easier than you would suspect.
Now, for those of you who are curious, but have never tried it yourself, because “I just don’t really like onions, at least not that much”, lemme tell you that I agree and I had the same thoughts myself before I tried it. Turns out it’s very good, and some kind of magical alchemy happens in the pot when making French onion soup.
And more alchemy as it happens!
The key ingredient in French onion soup is time. That’s time, not thyme, although thyme is also important 😉 Just be patient and let the onions caramelize slowly, then simmer it gently for a while as well. In my opinion you’re going to want to take at least 2 hours to make this soup, and it’ll be worth it, I promise!
The ingredients should be easy to find, I strongly recommend a vegetarian beef bouillon if you can find one, but don’t worry about using plain vegetable if that’s what you have. I’m also a big fan of making my own croutons, that way I can get them the size and crispness I prefer, but I’m just picky that way.
Some other notes: keep an eye on your croutons, nothing burns faster than a nice dry multi-grain loaf in my experience, put the garlic in once you’re happy with how caramelized, and your best bet for wine is a pinot gris or a chardonnay 🙂 I used to use reds, but I just like the colour better with a white and I find the finish on the soup is much smoother this way.
- 2 cups of white wine
- 5 cup of water
- 2-3 large yellow onions
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tsp of bouillon
- 1/2 loaf of multi-grain bread, cubed
- Start a pot on low/medium heat with your olive oil while you chop your onions.
- Cut your onions in sliced rounds about 1cm thick, or halve them then slice if your prefer, as this is easier especially if you’re not confident with your knife skills.
- Add your onions to your pot and 1/2 of your salt. If your pot is non-stick you probably won’t get the colour you want, a stainless steel or cast iron enamel can be deglazed and is better for this recipe. Pay attention to your onions, once the initial oil is used add the first cup of water slowly for the first couple of deglazes, you can also cover the pot to get your onions started. Once your onions have cooked down a bit (approximately 20 minutes) deglaze with 1 cup of white wine.
- When the wine has evaporated, after about another 10 minutes, add your garlic and thyme. Allow this to cook again, watching that your garlic doesn’t burn, then add your second cup of wine.
- Once the wine comes to a boil, let it go for 3 minutes until the alcohol burns off, then add your bouillon or broth and water. Set the pot on simmer and let it go low and slow for about an hour. You’ll add the rest of your salt now, but check the salt content on the broth/bouillon first, and give it a taste so you don’t over or under salt your soup.
- About 10 minutes before your soup is set to be served cube your crusty bread and toast it to make croutons.
- To serve your soup put your croutons in the bottoms of the bowl, add vegan cheese if desired, then ladle your soup over.
- A fan favourite alternative to croutons is a slice of toasted bread, you might also want to spoon your soup in first lay your bread and cheese and broil for a minute or two to get a nice crust and colour on your vegan cheese.
French onion soup, perfect for a Wine Wednesday! Don’t forget, once that bottle of wine is open, you might as well have a glass 😉
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