French Onion Soup is comfort food that warms the stomach on cold wintry nights. Better still if it’s prepared by your loved ones… It warms the soul. Many would be surprised to know that it’s actually so easy to prepare this fine delicacy. Simple ingredients, minimal steps, no genius required. Just a lot of patience and waiting…
Well, good things are always worth waiting for, aren’t they?
——————————————————————————————————————– Ingredients for French Onion Soup: Serves 3-4
French Onion Soup
4 large brown onions, peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken stock
100ml white wine
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Egg garnish – Optional and accidentally nice ——————————————————————————————————————–
Step-By-Step: French Onion Soup
Step 1: Slowly caramelize the sliced onions over low heat
Onion, our best friend.
Melt the butter on the pan at medium-high setting. Make sure that there’s enough butter to coat the entire pan, for more even cooking! Throw in the onions.
Turn to medium or low setting when onions first start to turn golden brown after a good 10 minutes. Let the onions sit for long enough till they turn brown, but not too long that they burn or char.
This is going to be a long and arduous process. For the next 30 minutes, do jumping jacks while stirring onions in a similar fashion. When it’s done, char them at high heat, slightly, if you desire a smoky mellow flavour in the soup!
Step 2: Soak and simmer in a pool of white wine and chicken stock
Let the onions have a soak in the chicken stock. Simmer at medium-high heat and reduce the stock.
The soup will turn a nice earthly brown: The brown colour is adopted from the caramelized onions! Pour in the white wine at this point. Simmer for another 15 minutes until it reaches a broth-like consistency, not thick nor runny.
It’s a beautiful soup of patience and diligence.
The traditional French Onion Soup demands a layer of baked cheese, a slice of garlic baguette, or cheese croutons or fancy stuff like that. We did away with the frills and used a small piece of omelette (shaped into a rose) as a garnish instead. It does exactly what garlic bread or croutons do – Soak up the oniony goodness perfectly. How sweet.
1. White Wine vs Red Wine
Many recipes call for red wine as it enhances the colour of the soup, into a deeper browner and sexier shade (as you can see, our soup is a lighter brown and arguably less sexy). We say, why not? The only danger about using red wine is that you don’t want a brew so strong it overpowers the sweetness of the onions! Feel free to also use Sherry.
2. Chicken Stock vs Stock Cubes
It’s not easy making chicken stock from scratch, we understand. Stock cubes as a replacement are absolutely fine if they save precious time. This recipe should call for 1 to 1 1/2 stock cubes.
3. Butter vs Margarine vs Olive Oil
Butter is the only way to go – Any respectable French chef would tell you the same thing. Margarine and olive oil are unable to recreate the same creamy richness of the broth. If you’re vegan, I’d recommend Extra Mild Olive Oil… But butter is still the best!
4. Sliced Onions vs Diced Onions
No difference there but the soup with diced onions would cook faster and easily melt into the soup during the simmering stage. If you, like us, still like to chew on your onions, slice them! If you like ’em all melty and gooey, dice them.
Posted by #phangchewfat