I had to make some executive decisions. These decisions may mean that this soup is really no longer French. But, you can't argue that there are a ton of onions and similar flavors. I just kicked it up a notch. I have always felt that the typical French Onion Soup is a bit flat. One note.
Umami - as Food Network has put it (thanks to Kikoman, I believe...). As much as I love that flavor, for me it's a flavor that is better when accented by one or more other, more distinct flavors - such as sweet or spicy.
So, I kicked it up a notch by adding just a hint of spice to the herb I was highlighting. When brainstorming what herb to pick I landed on sage, even though it is somehow not a popular herb in French Cuisine. I felt that sage had that umami flavor that French Onion Soup has, but it also has a slight bite to it.
To emphasize that bite I stepped even further away from French flavor profiles and went with a small dash of crushed red pepper. I found this to compliment the strong onion and beef flavor and give it a fresh, new dimension. I hope you try and enjoy!
French Onion Soup with a Kick
- 4 Yellow Onions
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
- 8 Leaves Fresh Sage
- 1/2 Bottle Red Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 2 Containers Beef Broth
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1/2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
- 1 Baguette
- Gruyere Cheese
- Melt butter and oil in large frying pan on medium low heat
- Chop onions into quarters and slices
- Chop sage (leaving 1/4 aside), and flakes into small bits
- Grate garlic and add all to frying pan
- Stir on medium low heat up to one hour, making sure they don’t burn, add oil as needed
- Add wine, bring to boil and reduce to simmer, 20 minutes
- Sprinkle in flour, stir until mixed
- Cut baguette into bite sized chunks, sprinkle with paprika and remaining sage, toast
- Move onion mixture to stockpot on low heat
- Add broth, salt, and pepper
- Bring to simmer, reduce for at least 10 minutes
- In oven safe bowl add toasted baguette pieces and soup, top with a slice of Gruyere cheese and broil for 5 minutes until bubbly