In honor of my upcoming trip to France, what better recipe is there to share than French onion soup? Especially now that the fall season is upon us. Not that it feels like fall at all! I live on Long Island, NY and this week has felt more like July than September. But you’ll get no complaints from me! We were swimming in the pool a few days ago. But, alas, before you know it, the cold weather will set in, I’ll want to go into hibernation, and soup will be the most comforting thing to warm my bones.
Aside from wanting to visit France my entire life, there is a purpose for my trip. I’m going there to do research for Book Three in The Gift Saga. If you’ve read Evanthia’s Gift & Waiting For Aegina then you know that the books take place in New York and several locations in Greece. This will be true of Book Three as well. A Greek location not mentioned in the other books will become part of an important storyline and so will Champagne, France. One character will spend some time there soaking up all the knowledge and experience she can. If you’ve read Waiting For Aegina you might be able to figure out whom that will be!
As with the other two books, I plan on adding recipes between the chapters. So far, these recipes have been strictly Greek ones, but this time around I’m looking forward to adding a few French recipes into the mix for the last installment of this saga.
Below is the way I’ve been making French onion soup for years. But, who knows? Maybe I’ll come home and have a different take on it and post a new version. But I’m pretty fond of this one and I hope you will like it as well.
French Onion Soup
4 large onions (Vidalia or Spanish) sliced thin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
7 cups beef broth
1 ½ cups white wine
¼ cup cognac or brandy
Swiss, gruyere, jalsberg, or emmentaler cheese (In slices or shredded)
Add vegetable oil and butter to a large pot. On a medium stovetop, add the onions and sugar, stir and cover. Let the onions caramelize on medium/low heat for half hour to forty minutes, stirring occasionally. When caramelized, add flour and stir thoroughly. Add the broth and the wine. Simmer for half hour to forty minutes. While simmering, make baguette toasts. Slice a French baguette ½ inch thick on an angle and toast. You may rub a garlic clove on the toast if you wish, but this is optional. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the soup is done simmering, remove from the heat and add the cognac or brandy. Ladle the soup into a crock. Add the baguette toasts and lay the cheese over the toasts. Place in oven until cheese bubbles and begins to brown.