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French Pearl Onion Soup

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French Pearl Onion Soup: A Rich and Flavorful Comfort Classic!

Indulge in the soul-warming flavors of our French Pearl Onion Soup, a delightful twist on the classic French onion soup. Bursting with savory aromas and rich flavors, this hearty soup features tender pearl onions swimming in a flavorful broth, topped with a golden crust of melted cheese and crispy croutons. Perfect for cozy nights in or elegant dinner parties, this recipe is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and learn how to create this masterpiece in your own kitchen!

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Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 1 (14.4 oz.) bag frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
  • 4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup preferred red wine
  • 2 (32 oz.) containers beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups Swiss or Gruyere cheese, grated

For the Croutons:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions:

  1. Caramelize the Onions:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the sliced yellow onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
    • Add the thawed pearl onions, minced garlic, dried sage, and dried thyme to the pot. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Deglaze with Wine:
    • Pour in the balsamic vinegar and red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.
    • Allow the wine to reduce slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Simmer the Soup:
    • Add the beef stock, bay leaves, kosher salt, and black pepper to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover.
    • Let the soup simmer for 30-40 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  4. Prepare the Croutons:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Slice the French bread into thick slices and arrange them on a baking sheet.
    • In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, garlic powder, and onion powder. Brush the mixture over both sides of the bread slices.
    • Bake the bread slices in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Assemble and Serve:
    • Preheat your broiler to high.
    • Ladle the hot soup into oven-safe bowls or crocks.
    • Top each bowl of soup with a handful of grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese.
    • Place the bowls on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
    • Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place a few crispy croutons on top of each bowl of soup.
    • Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley, if desired, and serve hot.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute vegetable broth for the beef stock and omit the Worcestershire sauce for a vegetarian-friendly version of this soup.
  • Creamy Variation: Stir in a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half just before serving for a creamier texture.
  • Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs such as rosemary or oregano to customize the flavor profile of the soup.
  • Make-Ahead Option: This soup can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Prepare the soup without the cheese and crouton topping, then store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop and proceed with adding the cheese and broiling the croutons.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use fresh pearl onions instead of frozen? A: Yes, you can use fresh pearl onions if you prefer. Simply peel and trim them before adding them to the soup.

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Q: Can I use a different type of cheese for the topping? A: Absolutely! While Swiss and Gruyere cheese are traditional choices for French onion soup, you can experiment with other cheeses such as Mozzarella or Provolone for a unique twist.

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Q: Can I freeze leftover soup? A: Yes, you can freeze leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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Q: Is there a low-carb version of this soup? A: To make a low-carb version of this soup, omit the croutons and use a low-carb thickener such as xanthan gum instead of flour for the soup base. You can also reduce the amount of onions used in the recipe to lower the carb content.

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Keto Version and Low-Carb Adaptation:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s a modified version of the recipe:

Keto French Pearl Onion Soup:

  • Use a low-carb substitute for the pearl onions, such as shallots or chopped leeks.
  • Substitute arrowroot powder or xanthan gum for the all-purpose flour to thicken the soup without adding extra carbs.
  • Serve the soup without the croutons or use low-carb bread for a keto-friendly option.
  • Opt for a dry red wine with lower residual sugar content to reduce carbs.

Treat yourself to the luxurious flavors of our French Pearl Onion Soup, a delightful blend of caramelized onions, fragrant herbs, and melted cheese that will warm your soul with every spoonful. Whether you’re savoring it on a chilly evening or serving it as an elegant starter at your next dinner party, this soup is sure to impress with its rich taste and comforting aroma. Plus, with our keto and low-carb adaptations, you can enjoy this classic dish while staying on track with your dietary goals. So, fire up your stove, grab your ingredients, and get ready to indulge in a bowl of pure culinary bliss with our French Pearl Onion Soup recipe!

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