Warm the hearts and souls of your loved ones with a steaming bowl of French onion soup — a winter favorite as it is rich, hearty and oh so flavorful. Here at Chez Dearth, we amp up the flavor with a couple of additional ingredients, beer for the slight bitterness and richness of the yeast, and miso, to increase the depth of the umami profile. And don’t forget the Kitchen Bouquet, which you can find in any supermarket around the country. My grandma and mom cooked with it to add flavor.
This soup becomes a family favorite when kids, friends and family get to brûlée their own bowl of soup. It’s also another reason to purchase another kitchen gadget to compete with what’s in the garage – a blow torch for the kitchen!
French Onion Soup
- 6 large sliced onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5-6 cups beef stock
- 1 cup porter or or amber beer
- 1-2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 teaspoon miso optional
- 3 tablespoons Madeira
- 12 thin slices French bread toasted (see below)
- 2/3 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onions. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized but not burned, 30 to 45 minutes.
Add stock, Kitchen Bouquet and miso; bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cook 30 minutes longer. Just before serving, stir in Madeira.
In small bowl combine cheeses. Place 1 slice of toasted bread each in bottom of 6 soup bowls. Top with 1/2 tablespoon cheese, fill with soup. Bread will float to the surface. Top with another slice of toasted bread, and 2 tablespoons more cheese. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly. Serve piping hot.
To toast bread:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange slices in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes, until golden brown. Store in airtight container.