When one thinks of French food, he/she would inevitably imagine tiny portions on oversized plates with creatively dropped or splashed sauce all around that fingernail-sized piece of meat. Such is the popularity of haute French cuisine that most, especially those over here in Singapore and Asia, don’t realise that traditional French food is nothing of that sort.
Traditional French food fed farmers and fishermen. They are simple, comforting, hearty and most certainly are served in sizeable portions.
While reminiscing our travels to France recently, we decided to somewhat satisfy our wanderlust by making French onion soup for our friends. This simple traditional French dish is very easy to make. However, in the spirit of fine modern French cooking, there are all sorts of different ways to make French onion soup out there, with some more complicated than others to make. Well, we did some research by looking at different recipes. We compared and combined some of them, and with some of our own culinary know-how (or anyhow), we came up with the recipe below for our french onion soup. We did give in to our own cravings and creativity by adding mushrooms to it though. Enjoy! 🙂
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Makes 5 to 6 servings
- 4 onions, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed/minced
- 120g butter
- 200ml red wine
- 1.8l beef stock
- 3 tbsps plain flour
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 4 dried bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 200g grated Gruyere/Cheddar cheese
- 1 baguette – See our Baguette Recipe
- Optional: 200g brown/button mushrooms, sliced
- Melt the butter in a large pot on medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic in the butter for around 20 to 25 minutes. The onions should be soft and caramelised.
- Add the wine in. Bring everything to a boil on medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium to allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes till the wine dries up considerably, thickening the mixture.
- Lower the heat to medium low and mix in the plain flour. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the beef stock, dried thyme, basil and bay leaves. Cover the pot with a lid an let everything simmer for about 19 to 15 minutes. Optional: Add the mushrooms in with the stock.
- Cut the baguette into slices. Lay them out onto a baking tray and top every slice with the gruyere/cheddar cheese and grated parmesan. Toast them.
- To serve, place a baguette topped with cheese into a bowl of soup.