Sometimes you have to turn a traditional recipe upside down to make something new and delicious. That’s what you will find with this Blonde French Onion Soup Recipe. We’re going to just kiss onions with caramelization, add some cooking soul with a splash of vermouth and really layer in the flavors for this delicious soup. Stay with me and check out the recipe.
This French Onion Soup Recipe is: Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly, Low Carb and Layered With Rich Flavors.
A Blonde French Onion Soup Recipe
I almost didn’t post this recipe. Kind of a strange way to start a post on a recipe, right? It’s not because the recipe isn’t worthy of being posted… let me make this really clear. This Blonde French Onion Soup recipe is truly wonderful. I almost didn’t post it because something really important came up and I had to stop the caramelization process on the onions. I’ve made French onion soup a hundred times and never had it be so light. I expressed my disappointment to Caroline and in true Caroline style, she said: “let’s just see how it is…” Well, I’m glad that she kept me in the game on this one. It’s not just good, it’s over the top delicious.
I changed my recipe up toward the end of the cooking process to speed it along. Sometimes this works well, sometimes it doesn’t. The soup was so light that I decided not to use sherry and add in some balsamic vinegar for acidic balance and to increase the depth of color. It didn’t work. The color stayed light and the soup didn’t have the flavor profile I wanted. It tasted too heavy on the left side of my palette with no round mouthfeel. So, I figured there’s nothing to lose at this point! I added in the sherry. At first, the flavors were fighting against one another. Within 10 more minutes of simmering, they were playing well. After 30 minutes a synergy was created in that pot which needs to be shared. You’re going to love this take on a traditional French onion soup recipe.
How To Make French Onion Soup from Scratch
I think that the best French onion soup is made from scratch. When I was growing up we used some kind of flavor packet that we poured into boiling water with some onions. It’s no wonder I’ve had high blood pressure for so many years- the sodium content in these packets is off the charts! And who knows what else is in those packets. My advice is to take a little bit of time and make it from scratch.
The best way to do this is to have really good foundation ingredients. This starts with homemade beef stock. If you don’t have homemade, make sure to buy no salt added stocks that have the LEAST amount of ingredients on the label. You would think that it would just be stock in there, but manufacturers need to make the product shelf stable.
In addition to the stock, using fresh dried and live herbs is really important. If your bay leaves are handed down from your grandmother, it’s time to invest in some fresh bay. No Grandma disrespect, just want to make sure you’re using fresh ingredients!
Ok, so once we have all the ingredients we are going to need a heavy bottom pot that is large enough to hold between 8-10 cups of sliced onions and 8 cups of stock. Yes, 3 large onions will translate to 8-10 cups of sliced onions! I used a dutch oven with a nice, tight fitting lid. When we are cooking the onions, the moisture that builds in the pot is important to soften and prevent burning.
Now that we have all the equipment and ingredients, we’re ready to make French Onion Soup from scratch.
Best Cheese For French Onion Soup
One thing I need to address quickly is the cheese we are going to brown on top of the French Onion Soup. So if you are paleo, then don’t add the cheese. It will still be really delicious. If you’re following the primal, gluten free or low carb lifestyles then a little cheese goes a long way.
I’m pretty flexible with most of the cheeses people want to use on French Onion Soup. If you have Jarlsberg, Provolone, Swiss or even Comte, go ahead and add it on there. I’m a sucker for Emmental on French Onion, but it is not an absolute. The one cheese that I feel is an absolute is the Parmesan. This is not the crap from the green can. Fresh shredded or flaked Parmesan will really kick up the flavor for this soup. It also browns nicely under the broiler.
QUICK COOKING TIP: For today’s cooking tip, we’re going to talk about slicing onions. I had so many students at my cooking school ask about slicing onions that I feel it is important to discuss. Here are my onion slicing tips:
- First, get all the onions prepared to slice. This means slicing off the top of the onion and right under the root. Then slice down through the root toward the cutting board. Remove the outer layer of the onion and discard.
- Get a big bowl out. We’re going to need it for all these onions. Start slicing half moons about the width of two toothpicks sitting next to one another. Take your time. This isn’t a race. Work on your knife skills and get comfortable with the onion.
- Cut until there is about 1/2″ of the onion left from the core side. If we want to use this part of the onion, place it cut side down and cut around the edges with your chef knife. Here’s the thing though, it is typically the flesh around the core that irritates eyes. I tend to think that this part of the onion can be tossed in the compost bin.
- If you get “onion eye” there is a quick way to take care of it. Open your freezer and stick your head in there. Put your face where you feel the motor pushing the cold air in the freezer and open your eyes in the cool air stream for 10 seconds. The sting will disappear quickly. If you have a bottom freezer, this is a more difficult maneuver 🙂
Ok. We have reviewed everything to get started on this delicious Blonde French Onion Soup Recipe. Let’s get to it.
BLONDE FRENCH ONION SOUP RECIPE
- 2 TBSP Rendered Bacon Fat
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
- 3 Onions (Spanish), cut in half and sliced thin
- 1/2 Cup Shallot diced fine (approx 1 large shallot)
- 1 TBSP Kosher Salt
- 4-5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Dried Bay Leaf
- 4-5 Roasted Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Vermouth
- 2 TBSP Arrowroot
- 8 Cups Beef Stock (warmed)
- 1 TSP Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 TSP Sherry Wine
- 1 Cup Shredded Emmental
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan
- Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the bacon fat and the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add in the onions, shallots, and salt.
- Stir well to coat the onions with the cooking fat. Add in the bay leaf, roasted garlic and thyme sprigs. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Cook the onions, stirring every couple minutes, for approximately 20-25 minutes. When the onions just begin to caramelize, pull out the thyme stems (the leaves should have fallen off by now!).
- Turn the heat to medium-high again. Add in the vermouth and cook with the lid off for 3-4 minutes. Add in the arrowroot and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the warm beef stock, balsamic & sherry then bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat once the soup has boiled to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn on the broiler and move the rack near the top of the oven.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings. Taste again and ladle into oven proof bowls.
- Cover the bowls with the emmental and parmesan. Place the bowls on a baking sheet, then into the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is nice and toasty brown.
- Serve hot and happy eating!
Final thoughts on the Blonde French Onion Soup Recipe:
Yes. Yes. And Yes, please. I’m a big fan of this soup. We just finished the batch off today for lunch. Let me tell you that it gets better resting two days in the fridge. Wow.
I did make one mistake today. I added in the cheese too quickly to the soup and it sunk well below the surface. Without the bread in there to “float” the cheese on top, we have to be a bit more careful. It didn’t really matter- it was still so damn good. I hope that you take some time to make this unique spin on a French Onion Soup recipe. Enjoy!