Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creamy French Onion Soup

I've been nursing a cold/cough for about a week and a half. I'll put the violins's winter in the Northeast, and I guess it goes with the territory, so no telethons for me. What does one do when one has a cold? That's correct: Make soup. I didn't want the typical chicken soup, or tortellini en brodo that I made last week. I felt a bit more "gourmet" today, so I decided upon a French Onion. It's quite an easy soup to make, and honestly, the tears you cry while slicing the onions must have some beneficial effect on one's illness.

While the soup was in its final simmer, I buttered and toasted a piece of Italian (yes, Italian semolina) bread; then cut it into quarters. When ready, I placed the bread at the bottom of the crock; spooned generous amounts of onions and broth over; and then......the cheese. Hmmmmm. Considering I didn't have Gruyere on hand, I had to decide which of the ones I had might be complimentary to this soup. I chose a thick slab of Brie, then covered the whole deal with shaved Parmesan.

The Brie melted into the broth, leaving the Parmesan to broil a nice golden brown.....but the Brie created a creamy broth, and for my taste, was just awesome. I'd say, give it a try. If I hadn't devoured the bowl after removing it from the broiler......I would have taken a photo. You'll have to trust me on this one.

2 lb onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Pino Grigio
4 cups beef broth (32 fl oz)
1 1/2 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For each crock:
1 slice, buttered and toasted French or Italian Bread slice, then each cut into quarters
1 thick slice of Brie
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese

Cook onions, along with thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a heavy stockpot over medium heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 30 minutes, making sure they don't burn. Sprinkle flour over the onions, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Pour in wine and cook, stirring, another minute. Stir in broth, water, garlice, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Check and adjust seasonings.

Preheat broiler. Remove and discard bay leaves; place bread slices at the bottom of heat-safe crocks; then spoon generous amounts of broth and onions over bread. Top with Brie, then cover the top with Parmesan.

Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


  1. I love your ingredient listing for the brie, letting me decide just how thick and creamy to make the soup. I'll admit to some skepticism about a creamy french onion soup, but you won me over with the melting brie & toasted parm combo!

  2. The idea of putting Brie in French Onion Soup would be enough to make Julia turn over in her grave.

  3. I'll just bet Julia would love my creativity...