I’m pretty sure onions are at the heart of every recipe I make. My standard is a sweet onion, but if I’m making a recipe that doesn’t use just the regular onions then I’m usually using leeks, green onions, shallots or chives.
This recipe is fantastic because I used every version of onion I could get my grubby little hands on (and remembered to buy).
On that note, I think that onion soup doesn’t get as much play as it should. There’s just something about onions cooked until they’re soft and brown and then turned into a soup that equals tasty goodness.
This isn’t a traditional French onion soup, but it pulls from it and changes it into something amazing. It’s also lightened up of course, since your normal French onion soup is surprisingly not that healthy.
This soup is slightly adapted from a Clean Eating recipe that I was immediately drawn to when I saw all of the different onions being utilized. A side salad would be perfect to round out the meal, but we were a bit tired of salads so instead I sauteed some cherry tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms and sprinkled a bit of Parmesan on them as an accompaniment to the dish.
Unfortunately this soup isn’t completely vegetarian since I use both chicken and beef stock (I like the complexity it gives) – but feel free to use vegetable broth instead for a completely meatless meal.
As a warning, this is a bit of a time consuming recipe since you have to caramelize the onions. Funnily enough as I was watching TV that night, Alton Brown was covering French Onion Soup and he recommended using an electric skillet at 275 degrees and cooking it covered for 45 minutes. If I had an electric skillet I probably would have tried that route.
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, dark green part discarded, thinly sliced and rinsed in cold water
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups beef stock
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 8 slices whole grain baguette about ¼ inch thick each (use a mini baguette)
- 2 oz herbed goat cheese
- ¼ cup finely sliced chives
- In a large 6 qt Dutch oven heat olive oil and butter on medium high. Add leeks, shallots, red onion and the sweet onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring twice.
- Remove lid and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 20 minutes, scraping and stirring the bottom of the pan at the 10 minute mark and again at the 20 minute mark until onions and extremely soft and golden brown.
- Increase heat to high and add the cider vinegar, stirring to incorporate. Add beef stock, chicken stock, herbs de provence, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
- When soup is almost done, preheat broiler. Slice baguette into 8 thin slices and toast on baking tray for 30 minutes per side. Stir together the goat cheese and chives and spread evenly on baguette slices. Broil baguette another minute.
- Remove and discard bay leaves from soup. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Ladle soup into bowl and float two baguette slices per bowl in each soup. Serve immediately.