This French onion soup is totally different from any other you've had before. Instead of the simple onion and broth creations that are common, this vegetable-laden cream-based soup is a delicious creation that is richly flavored and satisfying. Instead of a simple soup, you have complex layers of flavor.
French Onion Soup
This recipe is far from traditional. Instead of just broth and onions, I included additional vegetables to add more sustenance to this meal. With a bit of cream mixed into this recipe, it's created to truly be a meal in itself rather than a simple starter.
Don't worry, even with the added vegetables, this has tons of flavor and richness from the onions. The addition of leeks and spinach bring even more earthiness that really brings a comforting feel to the dish. Additional veggies paired with rice and tender bites of potato throughout, help this become a hearty option everyone will enjoy.
Can I Top This with Cheese?
While I have not personally added cheese to this soup, I can see how it would definitely be a complement to the flavors. If your desire is simply an additional creaminess, mozzarella mixed into your cup of soup would be perfect. For a more complimentary nutty flavor that has that similar melty cream texture, you can choose a smoked cheddar or my personal favorite, Gruyère. Of course, a few shreds or grates of Parmesan are always a good choice with the rich flavor only needing a small amount to really make the dish pop.
Can I Caramelize The Onions?
If you are looking for a richer flavor to the soup, you could definitely cook down the onions and leeks further before adding the rest of the ingredients. A slow caramelization method would bring about more depth of flavor, while not sacrificing the overall taste and texture of the recipe.
If you choose to caramelize the onions, you should know ahead of time that the process is not fast. This is not going to be as stated in the recipe below to cook them until tender for 5-7 minutes. A truly caramelized onion will take nearly 30-minutes of cook time and will also require your patience and tending.
How do I caramelize onions properly? Below are the steps I recommend for bringing out that richer flavor that can really push any meal up a few notches in flavor.
- Slice the onions very thin and pour into a large skillet set to low-medium heat. You don't want the temperature to rise above a standard medium level.
- Cook in oil rather than a butter or butter/oil combination as butter will burn faster and can leaded to a rancid flavor instead of caramelization.
- Don't forget to season the onions with a bit of salt to help draw out the added moisture. This is important for optimum results.
- Next, you wait for about 5 minutes before stirring them. At this point, if you see that they are crisping rather than simply softening, you will want to reduce the heat, add a bit of water (or broth) and stir well to break up any bits of stuck-on food.
- Continue cooking for around 25-30 minutes tending regularly to stir and check for depth of color. Taste and see if they are browned and bringing the flavor you want. Then, you will add to your recipe.
- Olive oil
- White wine vinegar
- Herbs du Province
- Green beans
How to Make a French Onion Soup
Start with adding butter and olive oil at medium heat setting to the dutch oven or stockpot you will use for cooking the soup.
Add the onions and carrots to the butter mixture, and then sauté for 2-3 minutes before adding in the chopped leeks. Cook this mixture until the leek is softening.
Now, you will add your spices and seasonings, stir to combine and cook for another minute.
Add in the potatoes and water and stir then raise the heat setting to bring to a boiling point.
Once boiling, lower the heat setting back to medium, and cook until the potatoes are soft (around 20 minutes).
When the potatoes are soft, add green beans, rice, spinach, and the cream then stir to combine. Remove the soup from heat, and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp herbs du province
- 10 oz. leeks, chopped
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 3 potatoes, cut into cubes
- 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
- 1 ½ cup green beans
- 7 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup cream
- Melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat in the pan you will be cooking the soup in;
- Add chopped onions and carrots and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add chopped leek and cook until it becomes slightly soft;
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and add dried herbs and vinegar;
- Cook for a minute more, then add potatoes and pour in 4 cups of water;
- When the soup has gotten to the boiling point, lower the heat and cook until potatoes are soft;
- Add green beans, rice and spinach, then pour in the cream and remove from the heat;
- Taste for seasoning and adjust the amount of salt and pepper if needed.
Top with a teaspoon of grated Parmesan before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 401Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 120mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g