French cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, as evidenced by this easy recipe for this classic soup.
I found the recipe in a cookbook I bought in Paris more than 20 years ago. I got it in a small bookshop across from the Luxembourg Gardens: one of my favorite spots for coffee and a walk.
It’s written by French chef Paul Bocuse and it’s called “French Home Cooking.” It has the best French Onion Soup recipe: one that takes about an hour or less to make.
Don’t worry about making your own beef stock. Just buy your favorite store brand. Although you don’t need individual soup crocks it’s fun to have them and you can probably pick up some cheap at a dollar store or on eBay.
French Onion Soup From A Master Chef
- Butter (2 ounces)
- Onions (About two medium, peeled and sliced into circles)
- Flour (About one ounce)
- Beef Stock (or bouillon or even water. I’ve never used water but Mr. Bocuse says it works) (About 2 1/2 pints)
- French Bread (Two slices per serving, toasted)
- Gruyere Cheese (About 3 1/2 ounces grated)
- Pepper (To taste)
- Breadcrumbs (About an ounce)
- Port (optional) (About 1/4 cup)
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan on top of the stove.
- Step 2 Add onions, breaking them into rings. Cook until lightly brown or just starting to turn lightly brown.
- Step 3 Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t stick.
- Step 4 When flour starts to turn brown add the beef stock and stir constantly. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Stir in (optional) port about half-way through.
- Step 5 In a soup tureen or in separate french onion soup crocks create two or three layers of the following: bread, cheese, pepper and sliver of butter.
- Step 6 Add soup. Then top it off with breadcrumbs and more cheese.
- Step 7 Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese and breadcrumbs have browned. Serve immediately.
(Photo courtesy of Kojach via Flickr.)