My late husband’s mother was born and raised in Paris and did not come to America until she was in her mid-twenties. While I was not impressed with a lot of her cooking, she did have a few dishes that were so good, they were practically a religious experience to eat…and this very authentic French onion soup was one of them!
French Onion Soup
4 large yellow or brown onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter (not margarine)
6 cups beef or vegetable consommé/broth
½ cup paper thin mushroom slices (optional)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley (optional)
Salt to taste
1 baguette, sliced into 10 pieces (discard the end bits and keep 8 pieces)
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (any Swiss cheese will do, but smoked Gruyere is best)
Peel and cut onions as shown in photo or into thin (⅛ inch) slices to make rings.
Heat butter and oil in bottom of deep pot. Add onion and cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until onions are limp and caramelized. Immediately add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 1 more minute, then add broth. Bring to rolling boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, taste soup and add parsley and salt. Simmer another 30 minutes and taste again, adjusting salt if necessary.
Heat top element of oven (turn on broiler, if gas) and set oven rack near the top.
Prepare a baking sheet, preferably one with turned up edges, by spraying with cooking spray.
Ladle onion soup into 8 ovenproof dishes or ramekins and place ramekins on baking sheet.
Float a slice of baguette on top of each ramekin, then cover with cheese.
Place baking sheet and ramekins in oven and broil until cheese melts and browns.
Remove from oven and serve hot…remember to use oven mitts to handle the ramekins!
Photos by Lukekb, Flickr