I discovered classic French soupe à l’onion when I was a teenager and becoming interested in what I thought was very sophisticated food. I had no clue then that this is pretty much a French peasant dish. However, I loved it then and I love it now. That’s what’s really important. Here is a recipe that stands the test of time. By the way, you’ll need some ovenproof bowls.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
- 5 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
- 3 tins of low-sodium beef broth, 14 oz (420 mL) each
- 3 cups (750 mL) water
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 8 slices of crusty bread
- 1 cup (250 mL) grated Gruyère cheese
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- Put butter in large saucepan or pot and melt on medium. Add onions and black pepper. Fry onions, stirring frequently, until onions turn golden. Sprinkle onions with flour and stir until all traces of flour disappear. Cook one minute longer. Don’t forget to stir.
- Gradually add beef broth to onions, stirring constantly. Stir in water and bay leaf. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Place ovenproof bowls on a cookie sheet and ladle soup into them. Toast bread slices lightly, then fit the toasted slices into the bowls to cover the soup beneath. Preheat broiler.
- Sprinkle equal portions of Gruyère cheese on top of each bowl, followed by equal portions of Parmesan cheese. Place bowls under the broiler and allow cheese to melt until golden brown.