Perfect French Onion Soup

by Julie Cohn

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I know it’s a bit bold to call this french onion soup perfect, especially when there are so many other wonderful recipes out there, but this one truly is perfect. Sweet onions caramelized in butter and brown sugar until they are soft and extra sweet, then bathed in a savory beef stock with fresh herbs, then finished with a buttered french bread and melted Gruyere cheese topping.  This perfect french onion soup has a few tricks up its proverbial sleeve, and it is those tricks that make all the difference…brandy and sweet onions go divine together! This french onion soup recipe takes only 45 minutes to make for added perfection!  Prepare this for someone you love right away, they will adore it (and you).

Perfect French Onion Soup

  • 5-6 Large Sweet Onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and finely chopped (About 1/4 c)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 c. Brandy
  • 6 c. Beef or Veal Stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Whole Bay Leaf
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4-5 Slices of french bread, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 Tbsp Melted butter
  • 2/3 c. Grated Gruyere cheese

Heat a the butter over medium high heat and melt.  Add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and saute 5 minutes until soft.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the onions and caramelize for 2-3 minutes.  Add the brandy and stir into the onion mixture.  Simmer about 5 minutes until the brandy is almost absorbed into the onions.  Add the beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf.  Simmer for 30 minutes on medium.

While the soup is simmering, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter both sides of the french bread slices.  Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about five minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  When the soup is finished, set four soup crocks on the baking sheet.  Remove the bay leaf from the soup and ladle the soup in each crock, about 3/4 of the way full.  Add a slice of buttered french bread to each crock, then sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheese.  Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the Gruyere melts, then serve immediately.

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