It's been kind of cloudy and grey the past couple of days in Portland, even though it's terrible June weather it does make for great soup weather. French onion soup is filling and warm, so it's a nice contrast to the cold and wet weather outside.

I'm a terrible food blogger, because when I went to the store I forgot to buy a loaf of French bread. As a replacement I used the whole grain sourdough bread that was sitting in the bread box. The sourdough was a good replacement, I recommend using sourdough if you don't have any French bread.

This is a very simple dish with only a few ingredients. The hardest part about preparing this dish is cutting the onions, it's going to make you cry, so it's a good time to work through some emotions and think about that childhood pet that's now, "living at a farm upstate." If the onions make you cry too much don't worry, eating the finished soup is like a warm hug.

French Onion Soup

(4 servings)
  • 3 1/2 medium yellow onions coarsely chopped
  • 3 TBS. butter
  • 3/4 cup dry white or red wine (just make sure it's not sweet wine)
  • 1 pint vegetable stock or beef stock
  • 1 TBS flour
  • 4 slices of french bread
  • 5 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Find the largest pot in your kitchen, okay maybe not that big, but large enough to hold a pint of stock and three and half onions. Melt the butter in the pot over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted add the onions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375. Toast the bread, just a little to remove most of the moisture. It should be slightly crisp. 
  3. Occasionally stir the onions, until most of them have turned golden brown. This is an import step in the soup, because it's where most of the flavor develops. Once the onions have browned add 1/2 cup of the wine. Stir occasionally until all the wine has cooked out. Then add the flour to the onions and let the flour brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock once that's happened. Scrape the flour off the bottom of the pot and add the rest of the wine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes and allow the wine to cook off. 
  4. Grab 4 oven proof bowls and scoop the soup until it fills 3/4 of the bowl. Lay one slice of bread on top of the soup and layer the grated cheese on top of the soup until you can barely see the soup and bread. Place the bowls in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the edge cheese browns a bit. 
  5. Remove from oven and eat with fork.

The bowls will be very hot! It's a good idea to have a mat or pad to place the bowl on once you remove it from the oven. 

For a soup that's mostly onions, it's very filling. If you want a good red wine to pair with this soup I recommend a Cabernet Sauvignon, because of the wine's rich buttery taste. Enjoy!

Photos by Katy Weaver