Vive La French Onion Soup

As I mentioned in a previous post, due to the popular rise in French cooking in the ’60s, French Onion Soup is one of the dishes that really took off during that era. This humble starter generally consists of caramelized onions steeped in broth and topped with bread and cheese. It’s simple for sure, but so belly-warming and good.

Williams-Sonoma had an amazing and simple looking recipe perfect for the not-too-chilly-yet-not-warm-enough weather we’re having lately. This soup feels fancy enough for entertaining and warm enough for cool evenings, but is light enough to drown some of the guilt from the chocolate cake indulgence this past weekend. If you’re not keen on using wine in cooking, substituting balsamic or red wine vinegar in the place of the cream sherry.

It will give a slightly different flavor, but will be equally good since what you’re trying to achieve is a balance of acidity between the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the saltiness of the broths. It really rounds out the whole dish. It’s the same reason you add a squeeze of lemon to seafood. If you’re interested in learning more about balancing flavors for good cooking, Samin Nosrat of The New York Times Eats column wrote a book called Salt Fat Acid Heat that can explain in more detail.

This recipe is simple enough (for Williams-Sonoma); only taking up a half-page in the book. Moderately easy with not too many ingredients. The hardest part was getting a good thin slice on the onions. You can do this by hand with a sharp knife or with a food processor or mandoline. It was probably one of the better French Onion Soup recipes I’ve tried!

What’s your favorite go-to soup?


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