No matter how hard I try, my french onion soup is never perfect according to a certain picky someone. He’s my harshest critic- but I appreciate it! Over the years, I’ve tweaked and refined my technique, down to an art. I even went so far as to pick up the perfect blue-and-white soup tureens with handles from the Salvation Army. My latest iteration has met with approval: it is the best french onion soup I have ever made and the only thing it lacks is an inexplicable “broth richness.” All I can think of is that I either have to a) make the stock/consomme from scratch with veal bones, or b) use Campbell’s canned which is what he grew up with and probably has MSG, which gives you that full mouth feel. Since neither of those options are really feasible to me, I’ll just list this as “the best French Onion Soup Yet.”

best french onion soup yet
based on Julia Child’s original recipe

Thinly slice 3 pounds of yellow onions. Cook slowly, over low heat, in a large covered stockpot, with 6-8 T butter, 2 t salt, and 1/2 t sugar. As the onions sweat their liquids into the pot, slowly raise the heat to moderate, which will evaporate the liquid and help the onions brown. The more slowly the onions brown, the more complex their flavor; however, the longer they brown the more they will fall apart and the longer you will be waiting! I usually take about an hour to 1 1/2 hours for this part.

Once carmelized, slowly sprinkle in 3 T of flour into the onions, stirring all the while. Remove from heat. Blend in 4 HOT quarts of beef stock- stirring vigorously to remove any lumps from the flour. If liquid is not hot, flour will form lots of little lumps. Add 1 cup vermouth, salt and white pepper. Simmer 30-40 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in 6 T brandy. I create rounds of bread by using the top of a glass:

I then toast the rounds and lay them on the soup when it has been ladled into the tureens:

I lay 4-5 slices of baby swiss cheese on each tureen and slide them under the broiler on high heat until browned and bubbling. Serve hot!

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