The Best French Onion Soup You'll Ever Have (AKA My Mom's Famous Recipe)9:00 AM
Olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pot
Onions (preferably vidalia), one big bag
Sugar, 1-3 wooden spoonfuls
Dry white wine (good quality), 2 bottles
Low-sodium beef stock, 2 boxes
Crusty bread, one loaf
Jarlsberg cheese, the more the merrier
Stock pot (you need the big one...I thought my pasta pot would work, but no way once you slice up all those onions)
Food processor, optional but very smart to use
1. Look at the clock. Do you have 7 hours to cook some soup? Then by all means, commence reading this epic recipe. If not, sorry....do not pass go. You can't rush this process, and if you speed through it, your French onion soup will be mediocre at best, slimy mush at worst.
2. Coat the bottom of your pot in olive oil, and turn up the heat to medium high. Start slicing the onions with the slicer blade on your food processor, and toss the sliced onions into the pot as the food processor cup fills.
3. After each batch goes in, sprinkle in the sugar and stir to coat. When I say sprinkle, I mean dump in a wooden spoonful. We did about three large wooden spoonfuls of sugar for this batch, since I bought the wrong onions at Costco (regular yellow instead of vidalia...total amateur move on my part). Mom explained that she normally only uses about one wooden spoonful when using vidalia onions, but these needed some sweetening to take the acidic onion taste down and help with the eventual caramelization process.
|This was when the onions just started caramelizing, and got their first one or two stirs.|
|This was about half-way through the caramelization process|
|After adding the wine|
6. Bring your soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and let cook for a few hours (our went for another 3 hours). The ideal goal is to get the liquid to reduce by almost half, so all those flavors intensify and blend together. Uncover in the last hour of cooking.
7. When ready to serve, slice up some pieces of crusty bread and Jarlsberg cheese. Place under the broiler, watching them carefully so the bread and cheese don't burn. When the cheese gets melted and bubbly, it's take to take them out. Place immediately in the soup using tongs (be careful not to drop it...the hot splash of soup will hurt!) and let it soak up that fantastic broth. Conversely, you can dish the soup into bowls that are oven-safe, put the bread and cheese in them, and place that directly under the broiler.
Note: My grandmother and mom both agree that it's best to wait a day to eat the soup, but you don't have to. Just make sure you have leftovers, because the day after is even better.
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