Alton Brown’s French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is my favorite soup. It’s what I get every time I go to La Bonne Soupe, but I’ve never made it. So on this rainy, relaxing Fall weekend, Chris and I decided to try. We started by finding a trusted recipe by someone who has never steered us wrong… no guesses? Of course, it was Alton Brown! You can find the recipe here if you’d like to try making it yourself… there are no written instructions, so you have to watch the video. It starts with slicing up 4lbs of onions.

4lbs of onions (sweet and red)

Fortunately I remembered Laura cutting onions and crying forever when she made it back in Rochester, so I invested in a mandoline. Then we transferred them to the bowl with butter to start the caramelization process.

Note: Using this type of pan was a mistake. The onions at the bottom stuck and burned, I'd advise using a non-stick pan or an electric skillet (like Alton) instead.

Here’s the line up of the rest of the ingredients:

The beers are for the hard working chefs.

2 cups white wine, 10 ounces canned beef consume, 10 ounces chicken broth, 10 ounces apple cider (unfiltered is best), Bouquet garni; thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string, salt, pepper, 1 loaf country style bread, Splash of Cognac, and 1 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, grated. After following the instructions carefully, and adding everything but the bread and cheese, it looked something like this:


Transfer to bowls and top with toasted bread.

Melt cheese in oven... hopefully using a better broiler than ours.

and *drum roll please*…

...finished French Onion Soup!

All in all it tasted good – a little burnt – but pretty good! Definitely use a non-stick pan or a electric skillet instead of the Calphalon pan we did. I’d also cut back on the wine, it didn’t reduce as much as we wanted so the soup still kind of tasted like Chardonnay. This was a test run for our fall potluck next weekend, so I’ll let you know how it goes next time when we make those adjustments. :) If you guys have any really great French Onion Soup recipes or tips – please let me know!

P.S. I made sure to include the cognac so I can make French 75s later. Recipe here.