French Onion Soup Recipe

January 21, 2019

This post was done in partnership with Sunions.

It’s a little known secret that I am obsessed with French Onion Soup, but I never make it for myself. There’s a few reasons why I never make it, but the main reason is that I HATE slicing onions. Every single time I have to cut onions, I have to wear sunglasses to try and avoid crying. What starts off as chopping onions for a recipe turns into me sobbing uncontrollably, so I always add as little onions as possible to any recipe.

So when Sunions reached out to me about their tearless onions, I was mesmerized. Like, is it really possible to cut up an entire onion without shedding a single tear?! I decided to take Sunions on and test out their claim of being tearless onions. To my surprise, after slicing up 2 giant onions, there were no tears at all. The sigh of relief I exhaled could easily be heard by my neighbors. I ended up chopping 5 big onions and not a single tear was shed.

I was so impressed and the only thing I could think to make was French Onion Soup. The most painful part of the recipe was already done, now to move onto the second most painful part: caramelizing the onions. You’ll see some recipes online that say you can caramelize onions in 30 minutes… that’s a lie. Some people will say it takes 5-6 hours and I just don’t have the patience for that. I caramelize my onions for about 2 and a half hours. To my surprise, Sunions flavor was just as good as regular onions and the fact that they’re tearless did not negatively affect their flavor in any way

Halfway to Caramelization
Enough chit chat, here’s the recipe:

  • 3 oz of minced Pancetta
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 Large yellow Sunion Onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and sliced thin*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 Cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 Cup of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 Sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 Sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 Bay leave
  • 1 Tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • ½ Tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 French baguette loaf, cut on the bias into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 Lb. of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Oz. Asiago cheese, grated
  • 3 Oz. of Gruyere cheese, grated
Cut off the stem and root ends of the onions, then halve then lengthwise, and peel away the dried skin.  Cut the onions into thin slices. It’s important to have all the onion slices roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Cook the pancetta fully in a dutch oven. Once cooked, remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon from the dutch oven and reserve for later. You’ll have some delicious pancetta oil at the bottom of the pot and add to that your unsalted butter. Add sliced onions, salt, stirring to coat onions thoroughly with the butter/oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are reduced and syrupy and inside of pot is coated with very deep brown crust, approximately 2 hours.
Stir in chicken and beef broths, wine, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to scrape off all those delicious brown bits. Add parsley, thyme, and bay leaf and cooked pancetta then bring to a simmer.  Simmer to blend flavors, approximately 30 minutes. Remove herbs and discard. Stir in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasonings with garlic, salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the soup can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.  To use, return to simmer before finishing soup with croutons and cheese.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  While the soup simmers, toast your baguette. Lightly brush the baguette pieces with olive oil and arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
When ready to serve the onion soup, adjust oven rack to upper middle position; heat the broiler. Set onion soup bowls on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 1/2 cups soup.  Top each bowl with toasted baguette slices that cover the top of the bowl without overlapping the bread. Over the bread lay the mozzarella in a single layer. Besure to slightly overlap the cheese over the edge of the bowl. This acts as a delicious little safety net that keeps the grated cheese from falling into the soup abyss. Pro tip: if you can see soup beneath, then you need more cheese.
Sprinkle the top of each with about 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese and 2 tablespoons Gruyere cheese.  Place the bowls into the oven, about 5 to 6 inches from the broiler and let broil until cheese is brown and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Pro tip: The cheese layer should cover the whole surface, so it will stick to the sides and corm a crust that holds its shape and does not sink.

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