Adapted from Nourishing Traditions, this is one of my husband’s favorites from our early pre-kid days. I remember having blissfully quiet evening on the deck in autumn slurping this soup and sipping wine, and discussing something grown-up. Ahhh.
This simple, yet elegant soup delivers a nutritional punch with nutrient dense bone broth full of minerals, gelatin, and glycosaminoglycans, healthy fat from the butter and cheese.
There are two essential secrets to making the best French onion soup: homemade stock and slow, slow cooked, caramelized onions. This is a easy recipe that is sure to impress the most discerning palate and can either start a meal or stand alone with a simple baby green salad.
The best French onion soup ingredients
- 4 red onions sliced as thinly as possible. I like to use my food processor for this, but it’s not necessary.
- 4-6 Tbsp. butter
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 1/2 C. cognac (or substitute dry sherry)
- 1/2 C. red wine
- 1 T. arrowroot powder – (As opposed to commonly used corn starch, this traditional foods starch thickener is very easy to digest and nutrient dense)
- Sea salt (or fish sauce) and pepper to taste. Where to find sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley – for flavor and added minerals
- Raw cheese of your choice to grate on top (Gruyere is the traditional choice served on French Onion soup but any will do)
- Sliced and toasted sourdough bread (optional)
The best French onion soup method
- Place onions and butter in a saucepan over low heat and let it cook, stirring occasionally. Cook until just caramelized: translucent, slightly browned. This will take an hour or two – DON’T RUSH IT. The slower and lower the better.
- Add stock, cognac and wine. Bring to a rapid boil for about 2 minutes. Lower to a simmering boil. Skim off foam as you go, if any.
- Mix arrowroot with a little water so it is a thick paste; add to soup. Season to taste.
- Spoon into bowls, float optional toast atop, and sprinkle on raw cheese. If your bowls are oven-safe and you are using the toast, you may choose to place under the broiler until browned.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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