I love French Onion Soup. Panera makes my favorite. After trying a copycat version, I've modified it to be more to my liking.
I love this soup. Now you can make it, too. And you must. If you have never made soup in your life before, now is a good time to start, because this is easy. If you have your own broth or stock, then you can make this from scratch, but I use canned.
Aces Onion Soup
Melt the butter in a 6 quart pot or saucepan. Add your sliced onions and saute them. As they reduce, at first they'll become creamy. Then the creaminess will brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently and scrape that brown stuff off the bottom of the pan, mixing it in. It's concentrated awesomeness, and is the flavor base of your soup. Brown the onions, but don't burn them, as that will bitter your soup.
When the onions are generally browned (and this takes me at least 1/2 hour) the difficult part is over. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes as the house fills with the aroma of deliciousness.
Panera serves this soup with asiago cheese. I can never get my asiago cheese to be as melty and chewy as theirs, so I don't always bother with it. But if you want to give that a shot, be my guest. Almost any stringy cheese would be good.
A couple of drops of hot sauce give it a little zing, either Tabasco or Frank's.
Serve this with some crusty bread. You'll want it to sop up the last remaining soup in your bowl.
For my GF friends, you can leave out the flour, or substitute a small amount of some other starch thickener.
I commented today about onions sauteed in butter being the start of a recipe that would always lead you in a good direction, and Bull jokingly challenged me to use bananas as a next ingredient. In actuality, I bet that if you left out the flour and mashed up half a banana into the onions while you were reducing them, you'd get a not-too-unpleasant effect. I'd try it, but I hesitate to mess with my favorite onions soup.Posted by James at January 1, 2009 6:01 PM