Traditional French Onion Soup with Cheese
This is one of the very best French onion soup recipes because it begins with homemade consommé rather than canned broth or bouillon cubes. French onion soup is traditionally made with homemade consommé for a fresh, clean flavor.
The consommé in this recipe contains beef broth as well as vegetables but you can make it with bones, vegetables, and herbs if you prefer. There are plenty of different consommé recipes you can choose from although consommé recipes are all very similar and the cooking methods are all pretty much the same too.
This is a very tasty traditional French onion soup with cheese recipe and using the vegetable rich homemade consommé adds an extra flavor dimension to the recipe and makes it taste truly homemade. For the perfect appetizer, serve this traditional French onion soup recipe in a set of matching French onion soup crocks and nobody will be any less than truly impressed with this dish.
French onion soup is usually made with yellow onions but this recipe does not specify a type so there is nothing to stop you using white onions if you prefer, or even mixing and matching. Some people might use a sweet onion, such as Vidalia, and a couple of red onions, just for a different flavor. You can use any combination you want, but stick with yellow onions if you want a result close to the authentic recipe.
- 3 medium onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups beef consommé (below)
- 2-4 slices French bread, toasted
- Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
- 2 (10½ oz. each) cans condensed beef broth
- 1 soup can water
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 small carrot, sliced
- 1 small stalk celery, sliced
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 small bay leaf
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- First of all, make the beef consommé. Combine the consommé ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer, cover the pan and cook it for 30 minutes, then strain it through a sieve or cheesecloth. The strained liquid is your consommé.
- While the consommé simmers, cook the onions in the butter, in a covered pan for 30 minutes over a low heat. Stir them occasionally. Add the consommé and heat it to boiling. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the soup into oven safe bowls (2 - 4, depending on portion size). Place a slice of toasted French bread in each bowl, then top with slices of cheese. Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and cook them for 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
Keep your soup as close to the authentic French recipe as possible by making your own consommé. Broth or consommé from a can is not bad but it is not a patch on the real thing. In the kitchen, fresh is always best. That is a mantra for professional cooks everywhere. It might take a little longer to make consommé than open a package of readymade consommé but your taste buds will enjoy the superior flavor and it actually works out more cost-effective to make consommé and broth from scratch yourself. Treat yourself to soup the way it was meant to be made.
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