I am not a French Onion Soup connoisseur. I rarely order it in restaurants. It’s odd. You would think with my love of caramelized onions and cheese that it would be one of my favorites. Well, now it definitely is. Apparently, I just needed to add a little kick to the typical French Onion Soup Recipe.
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 (very deep) 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 has that mellow umami flavor that French Onion Soup has, but it has a little zip.
To emphasize that zip I stepped even further away from French flavor profiles and went with a small dash of crushed red pepper. It’s true that I am a bit of a crushed red pepper fanatic. But, I found this to compliment the strong onion and beef flavor and give it a fresh, new dimension.
- 4 Yellow Onions
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- ¼ Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
- 8 Leaves Fresh Sage
- ½ Bottle Red Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 2 Containers Beef Broth
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- ½ 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 ¼ 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