Simple French Onion Soup Anyone Can Make
A Simple French Onion Soup Anyone Can Make
When I say anyone, I mean anyone. Over the years I have come to realize that French Onion soup is a recipe many people are afraid to make at home. Therefore, they save this indulgence for when they go out to eat. The basic broth for this soup is actually rather simple. It seems to me that they fear of making this recipe at home comes from the cheesy topping this soup is served with. usually this cheesy topping is a toasted piece of French Bread floated on top. The bread and the bowl is then topped with gruyere cheese and baked/broiled in the oven. Many people are hesitant because they do not have the right bowls for this last process of making this soup. I have found a simple solution to avoid purchasing any additional serving pieces.
Chateau Bread Dumplings
My solution to serving this soup with the proper cheesy topping are Chateau Bread Dumplings. Chateau Bread Dumplings are a handmade Czech food product made in Chicago for the last hundred years. My family is Polish, but eating Chateau bread Dumplings with our roast pork and cabbage was a staple in our home and still is. If you aren’t familiar, Czech Bread Dumplings are a unique loaf of bread that is boiled and steamed, yielding a unique texture that allows them to absorb sauces and gravies without getting soggy. They are traditionally eaten with roasted meats, soups, stews and gravies. They soak up the sauces and broths without getting soggy and falling apart. This creates the perfect bite.
How To Use The Bread Dumplings In This Simple Soup
I knew the bread dumplings would work perfectly and I was correct. You will see the steps in the complete and printable recipe at the bottom of this page. I toasted the bread dumplings with some butter and herbs, topped them with the gruyere cheese and into the oven they went to create a perfectly cheesy topper for this soup. They perfectly floated on top of the soup broth, didn’t get soggy or sink, absorbed the broth and created the perfect bite.
One Small Problem
There is only one small problem when it comes to using the Chateau Bread Dumplings. While they are in lots of states and grocery stores (click here for a link to retailers) they are not yet everywhere. You can also ask your store manager to order them. They are also available to order online. (click here for online ordering) They offer free shipping anywhere in the Continental United States. You are required to order 6 boxes, but trust me, you will want to use them for a few of my other recipes including my Best Stuffing Ever recipe. They also store in the freezer for up to two years. If none of these are an option for you, you can substitute a denser bread like sourdough for another option.
Slicing these onions for this recipe will be the only difficult part of this recipe. Only because you need a lot of onions. After you get the onions sliced, the rest of this recipe is a cake walk. These onions need to caramelize low and slow. So be patient with this step. Giving onions the time they need is key to this recipe coming out great.
Two Other Special Ingredients
I use two other ingredients in this recipe that may be new to you. These ingredients are readily available in any grocery store and available on Amazon. The one ingredient is called Gravy Master, you can find it in the gravy aisle of your local grocery store. You may as well go ahead and buy a couple of bottles of this. I use this ingredient in lots of recipes. The second ingredient is the Better Than Bouillon, beef bouillon. I also use this and the other varieties in many of my recipes. Both these ingredients add a level of flavor to your recipes, especially this soup, that will have people begging for more.
Let’s Get Cooking
It is time to make your soup. The complete, printable recipe is below. Allow yourself time to slice those onions, get the three special ingredients, treat yourself to a better bottle of wine to use in this recipe, then drink the rest. Splurge for the good gruyere. I know this recipe will be as much of a favorite of yours as it is mine. Once you make this you will see why this is a simple french onion soup anyone can make. Cook and Enjoy!
- 1 box of chateau bread dumplings or 10 Slices of a dense bread like sourdough
- 1 to 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 4 or 5 fresh thyme stems
- 3 Tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Beef Bouillon
- 8 cups of water
- 4 Cups of sliced yellow onions (about 6 medium sized onion)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons of Butter + 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of Gravy Master or substitute 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt, pepper & paprika
- Peel and slice your onions, this will take the most time of the whole recipe. Add 3 Tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a stock pot and add your onions, keep the heat on medium to low and sauté your onions in the butter for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Stir often to make sure they don’t burn.
- After they are golden brown, add your tablespoon of brown sugar, your gravy master, salt and pepper (about 2 teaspoons of each) sauté the onions for 10 more minutes.
- Sprinkle the onions with the three tablespoons of flour and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add your 1/2 cup of white wine and loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan as the wine simmers, then add your 3 tablespoons of better than bouillon, stir well then add your 8 cups of water. Then your bay leaves and 3 of the stems of thyme.
- Bring this mixture to a low boil, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer in low for 35 minutes. Spread you bread dumplings on a foil lined baking sheet and set on top of the soup pot to warm as your soup simmers. Make sure there’s room for the steam to escape.
- Heat your oven to 450°, when your soup has simmered for 25 minutes take you sheet pan with the dumplings and spread each one with butter, season with salt, pepper, and a few of the sprigs of time, bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, then sprinkle all the dumplings with the cheese, a little more black pepper and paprika, bake about 6 to 8 minutes until the cheese is melted then turn the oven to broil and broil the cheese until brown and bubbly. Keep a close eye on this.
- When the cheese is slightly brown, remove the tray, sprinkle the tops with thyme.
- Remove the thyme stems and bay leaves from the soup.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl and serve with one or two cheesy baked dumplings on top.
- Serve with your favorite white wine for an elegant meal!
- *if you want the soup extra cheesy, add some shredded cheese to the bottom of the bowls before adding your soup.