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Classic French Onion Soup – My Way

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Oh-La-La ~ Warm up with  Classic Crock of Onion Soup with a Secret Ingredient – Shiitake Mushrooms

Two bowls of hearty French onion Soup on a vintage wooden board with vintage textiles
A bowl of warm comfort – baguette slices are soaked into the rich broth with a melting of greyere cheese and thyme – the cheese melts while the top turns into a golden crust ~ glorious! 

A delicious, hearty broth starts with good vegetable and chicken broths (no beef broth here) – added to perfectly caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms.
The mushrooms add a nice earthy flavor that complements the soup.. just love that!

Toasted baguette slices – soak up the rich juices served gratinéed with Gruyère cheese.

Two white modern crocks with French Onion Soup with Fresh Thyme.
Just the right amount of Gruyère cheese is added to the top and either broiled, or heated in a hot oven

Nothing like pushing a spoon through gooey layers of cheese, bread and hearty stock to a base of caramelized onions!
This soup is so satisfying as the onions, cook for a lengthy time – have all the natural sugar your soup will need once they are properly cooked down and caramelized (they taste incredibly sweet!)

Onion soup gained much popularity in the United States around the 1960’s. It was the trend du jour!

The recipe is easily adaptable for gluten free and vegetarian diets.

Base ingredients for the Fresh Onion Soup
Base ingredients for the Fresh Onion Soup
I’m using Yellow & Sweet Maui Onions – evenly, thinly sliced
Ovenproof white modern crocks with rich onion soup
The ovenproof crocks with the rich onion soup – bread and cheese to come!
Baguette slices are added to the onion soup crocks with a good covering of grated Swiss greyere cheese - ready for the oven
Baguette slices are added with a good covering of grated Swiss gruyère cheese – ready for the oven
Vegetable Broth, Chicken Broth, White Wine & Port – flavor the caramelized onions for the soup base
Perfectly Caramelized Onions will take 45 minutes
Stirring Shiitake Mushrooms into the onions
Adding white wine and port to the pot for flavor

Why I love Swiss Gruyère cheese!

Swiss-made Gruyères must be brined or salted, smeared with cultures that develop their unique flavors, and aged for at least five months, allowing ample time for the cultures to break down and develop more-complex flavors and for moisture to evaporate and concentrate flavorful fat and salt.

The flavor: nutty, sweet, tangy, and slightly funky notes – that’s a fine Gruyère!
Made of raw milk from cows grazing on the flower-speckled hills of western Switzerland.
And – is the consummate melting cheese.

French onion soup can be, in fact, a highly nutritious choice. Onions, as part of the Allium family, and contain Quercetin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. To lighten-up the soup… if you must – add thinner pieces of bread and a less generous hand of cheese.

French Onion Soup can be a meal in itself – perfect served with a simple leafy-green composed salad.

A little French Onion Soup History & Interesting Facts:

Even though it originated as a humble peasant dish, French onion soup is nowadays regarded as one of the most prized dishes of French cuisine.
As you know it’s a fixture on French Menus – and always in demand.
It was primarily known as a simple and hearty traditional dish.
The broth is simple, made merely with caramelized onions and stock – typically beef stock, but many modern cooks like me have used vegetable and chicken stock – or all vegetables stock for a vegetarian version.

However, the soup is distinguished by croûtes–pieces of crispy baked bread that are placed on top of the soup and are then generously covered with cheese, then melted.
Onion soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times and has changed through history, establishing its final form in the 17th century.

A more modern version of this soup originates in Paris, France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It was introduced to the United States by the New York restaurant of Henri Mouquin in 1861, where his wife Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin was the chef.

Not until the late 19th century did the recipe include a rich broth or molten cheese – we now associate with French onion soup.
That style first gained popularity during the late 19th century in the brasseries and at soup stalls catering to the hungry workmen and hungover artists who rubbed shoulders before first light outside the markets.

In the 1960s, when French cuisine started to grow in popularity around the world, onion soup became one of its most famous representatives.

Onions were among the most common and easiest vegetables to cultivate, and from ancient times to today, many have assigned powers to onions and onion soup well beyond their remarkable nutritional value.

Enjoy this glorious soupe à l’oignon – well worth your time.
Bon Appétit!
Karen

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