French onion soup is one of those things we used to only eat at a restaurant because I could never get the broth to taste quite the way I liked it. That said, not all French onion soups at restaurants are good, no two are alike. Here is my “go to” French onion soup recipe at home. Caramelizing the onions is part of the trick and it takes time, so be prepared, but the end result is worth it.
3-4 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil
1 lb sweet onions (I prefer Vadalia), sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
6 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 baguette, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil (to drizzle on bread)
Heat the grape seed oil in a large pot. When hot, add the onions and cook on low, stirring often until they become a golden brown colour. This caramelizing will take about an hour to do properly.
When the onions are almost done, add the minced garlic and cook about 5 minutes longer.
Sprinkle the onions with flour and stir until blended. Continue to cook another 2 minutes.
Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and simmer another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If you like a saltier, beefier broth, you can add a couple of teaspoons of powdered beef bouillon to the soup instead of regular salt).
Slice the baguette and sprinkle or brush each slice with a bit of olive oil on one side. Place each slice, oiled side up, on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for a couple of minutes until they are crisp and light brown. Keep a close eye on the bread as it tends to brown very quickly.
Spoon the soup into individual onion soup bowls or ramekins, leaving enough room at the top to add the bread slices. Place a layer of bread on each bowl. Top with grated mozzarella.
Place the bowls on a baking sheet (in case there is spillage) and bake in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly and brown (5-8 minutes).
Be careful as you remove the bowls as they will be extremely hot.