As we move into the winter months and temperatures start to drop, I’m turning more and more frequently to my collection of soup recipes as a means of keeping everyone warm and happy. One of my all-time favorites is French Onion.

A classic French Onion Soup couldn’t be easier to make and can be one of the most flavorful made-at-home soups when prepared properly.

This recipe allows you to enjoy delicious broth, homemade croutons, onions and cheese in every mouthful and won’t have you cringing away from the bowl because of its saltiness the way some restaurant versions almost assuredly do. It is also a very affordable soup to prepare, making it the perfect pre-holiday meal if you’re looking to impress and save for Christmas all at once.

Want to make your own? Here’s what you need:

♦ 6 yellow onions, sliced

♦ 1 tablespoon garlic powder

♦ 2 32-ounce containers beef broth (low sodium)

♦ 1 tablespoon sugar

♦ 1 teaspoon salt

♦ 2 sprigs fresh thyme

♦ 2 sticks butter

♦ 1 teaspoon beef bouillon base

♦ 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

♦ Grated Swiss cheese

♦ 1 Italian baguette, sliced into desire crouton size

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, then add in the sliced onions and sprigs of thyme. Sauté the onion and thyme for about eight minutes, until the onion is translucent and tender.
  2. Remove the thyme from the pot and add the flour to the onions. Stir the mixture. Add the garlic powder, beef broth, sugar, salt and beef bouillon base to the pot. Stir again to combine.
  3. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. While the soup simmers, prepare the croutons by slicing an Italian baguette into crouton-sized slices. I usually opt for a 1-inch thickness. Toast the slices under the broiler until they are crispy and perfectly browned.
  4. Pour the soup into an oven-safe bowl, top with croutons and grated Swiss cheese. Add as much or as little cheese as you like. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times. She was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. After spending the last three years in Los Angeles, she’s pretty stoked to be back in the South, where the food is good and the people are friendly. You can email her at KWalker@CalhounTimes.com.

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