Hello lover! I’m here with the best french onion soup for you.
It’s caramely and decadent and cheesy and satisfying. Perfect for a winter’s day or Valentine’s night. Personally, this is what I would love to eat on Valentine’s Day the most!
Now I know, I know. I have a (verrrry old) french onion soup recipe here on the blog that’s (gasp!) made in the slow cooker. People get really passionate about not making it in the slow cooker, and it’s not like that’s my omgfavoriteversionever, but my oh my I do love french onion soup.
So here, I’m showing you how to make it the good old fashioned way! It takes a while to truly caramelize the onions. Like, at least an hour. I like to caramelize them with bourbon for some extra oomph since it IS valentine’s week after all.
You also need to use quite a few onions for little result. Think of it like when you cook spinach: the mixture is going to cook down majorly, but the flavor that develops will be incredible. It absolutely MAKES the soup.
The broth is rich and delicious, made with beef stock and thyme. One of my favorite french onion soups ever is from cafe sante in boyne city where they make it with duck fat. Now, THAT is good.
But this may be even better.
Tons of gruyere cheese. Lots of it to give you that melty pull.
And a heart shaped crouton? I mean, could these BE any cuter?!
The crouton is important. You might be wondering why, considering that by the time you get to the bottom of french onion soup, the bread tends to be disintegrating. But this is the reason! Making a crouton allows it to last longer and absorb more without falling apart. It also adds some wonderful texture along with depth of flavor.
P.S. after years of telling you I like my toast on edge of being burnt to a crisp, do you believe me now? HAHAHA.
And how about the cute crocks?
I think my mom is probably losing it right now that I actually bought these crocks on amazon because she has similar ones somewhere in her house, like legit from the 70s. These are quite 70s looking, aren’t they?! I love it.
Of course, you don’t need a crock to serve these in, but you do need something that is oven-safe. Like a ramekin. Broiling that gruyere on top of the soup is the key to making it seem restaurant-ish and gourmet.
I mean, LOOK AT THAT.
This is a soup of pure love. You have to love cooking to make this soup, or at least love the person that you’re going to make this soup for. Even if it’s just yourself. It’s a little labor of love, though it’s not hard at all. It just takes awhile, but it’s one of those beautifully decadent recipes. Where you spend the evening making it and just.can’t.wait. to take a bite.
Isn’t that the best?
Lover’s French Onion Soup
Yield: 4 people
1 hr 15 mins
1 hr 35 mins
My favorite french onion soup starts with bourbon caramelized onions! Adorable heart croutons and tons of guyere take it over the top.
- 4 to 5 large sweet onions, (about 2lbs worth), sliced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 6 cups beef stock
- 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- bread slices, cut into heart shapes
Heat a large pot over low heat and add the butter. Once melted, stir in the onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and are starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Stir in the bourbon. Cook, stirring often again, for another 20 to 30 minutes until the onions are deeply caramelized and golden in color. Stir in the garlic.
Stir in the dry sherry and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the beef stock and fresh thyme sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until the broth has reduced and thickened a bit.
While the soup is simmering, make your heart croutons! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a heart-shaped cutter to cut out hearts in the bread, then place them on the baking sheet. Brush the bread with olive oil. Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and crunch.
To serve the soup, ladle spoonfuls of the soup into oven-safe ramekins or crocks. Add a sprinkle of gruyere cheese on top, then a heart crouton. Add another sprinkle of gruyere on top. Repeat with remaining crocks.
Turn the broiler on your oven to high with a rack in the center of the oven.
Place the crocks on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Garnish with extra thyme if you wish. And serve!
Probably gonna nap on that little cheese raft.