Probably the best French Onion Soup you will ever try, this rich soup is made delicious with sweet Vidalia onions. Sherry wine and fresh bay leaves give this soup an incredibly delicious depth of flavor. Topped with a fresh crouton, and a blend of delicious, melted cheese, this soup is amazing.
For years, Jared and I have been trying every restaurant we visits French Onion soup. There is just something so exciting about digging your spoon into a blend of melted cheeses and crouton to scoop out that first spoonful of goodness.
In fact, I would consider myself a French Onion soup “unofficial connoisseur.” I have learned that not all soup is created equally and some are too salty, too bland, and too underwhelming.
The best onions for French Onion soup
Caramelized vidalia onions are rich in flavor, and contain the perfect blend of sweet and savory for this soup. They are now in-season and can be found nationally at grocers across the country. I love how they caramelize perfectly without additional sugar making this soup even more tantalizing for the taste buds.
Best beef base for soup
A quality beef base is important for establishing a balanced soup broth. Rather than use run of the mill packaged beef broth, I went with Better than Bouillons’ Beef Base. This product can be also found nationally and it is my new favorite ingredient for so many dishes. It offers a delicious flavor without all the saltiness of a bouillon cube.
Dry sherry marries the broth & onions and is critical in capturing a soup that is anything but bland. Herbs like thyme and bay leaves also play a huge factor in ramping up the flavor profile of French onion soup.
Toasted soup crouton
I once enjoyed French Onion soup at a restaurant that served it with a garlic bread crouton. After that, I never went back to suing plain, unflavored bread.
French bread sliced with 1 1/2″-2″ thickness is just right. I brush it with melted butter and garlic powder for extra tasty flavor. Additionally, you could use fresh garlic too.
For me, I love the blend that deli-sliced, quality Swiss, and non-smoked provolone offers. When melted together, they not only make an excellent cheese pull, they pair so nicely with this soup’s complex flavors. 1-2 slices of each is plenty for a hearty crock of soup.
Personally, I love them to be bubbly and toasty so I ensure my crocks are oven-safe and typically broil them for 1-2 minutes until they are just right and melted over the crouton.
Overall, this soup is a keeper! I think you all will really enjoy making it with vidalia onions. Let us know in the comments how you like it!
French Onion Soup made with Vidalia Onions
- 8-quart dutch oven
- 4 lbs. vidalia onions sliced thinly
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 6 tbsps. salted butter
- 3 tbsps. all-purpose flour
- 3 tbps. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup dry sherry wine
- 8 tsps. Better than Bouillon Beef Base *provides better beef flavor vs. regular cubes, or stock.
- 2 whole fresh bay leaves
- 3/4 tbsp. dry thyme can use fresh thyme as well
- non-smoked provolone slices
- Swiss Cheese slices
- French bread loaf sliced into 2" thick slices
- garlic powder
- Add sliced onions to a 6-quart stock pot with butter. Over medium-low heat, caramelize onions until they take on a deep golden brown color. This will take at least 30 minutes. You will want to stir occasionally.
- Add in minced garlic and cook for another minute or 2.
- De-glaze pan with sherry and mix to get all the bits that might be on the bottom of the pan mixed.
- Add spices, flour, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add in beef bouillon base and water; stir.
- Add in bay leaves, and thyme; allow soup to simmer for on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 to toast the bread.
- Coat bread slices with butter, and garlic and bake for 3 minutes per side.
- Remove bay leaves from soup carefully. Ladle soup into crocks/bowls. Add one toasted bread crouton to each.
- Top each bowl with desired amount of cheese. It is okay if cheese overlaps the bowl a bit.
- Broil each crock (must be oven-safe) for 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve warm.