There is nothing I like more than warming up with a cozy cup of French Onion Soup. But I never considered that it a kid-friendly dish. It was one of those “pre-kid” meals that never seemed to make it into our weekly dinner rotation. Just a treat for dining out when I could order them something else.
Until we went to Disney World.
We happened to be in Disney during the last week of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Which meant we took our children from country to country and sampled different cuisines. One evening, we ended up at Les Chefs de France for dinner.
It was there, my kids fell in love with French cuisine. The Bug, in true Eloise-meets-Fancy-Nancy fashion, loved the names of all the dishes. Baby M? Well, she’s a bread and cheese aficionado, so she was just in foodie tot heaven. But it was the The Little Lion Man’s reaction that surprised us the most. He devoured anything and everything we put in front of him. If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember this classic pic…
One of the courses he devoured was French Onion Soup. So I decided to start making it at home.
The first time I made it, the Little Guy asked what smelled so good. I mentioned that I was making something special just for him — the soup he loved so much in Disney World.
“For ME?!? THANK YOU, MOM! Thank you!”
For the record, the whole family loves this recipe. The hardest part is waiting for the onions to caramelize. Kids can get in on the cooking action by helping to make the toast points. It’s easy to make, doesn’t require an epicurean treasure hunt at the grocery store, and a perfect way to warm up on a cold night!
- 3 Sweet Onions
- 3 Red Onions
- 5 Tablespoons Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
- 8 Cups of Beef Stock
- 1/2 Cup of White Wine
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons of Bourbon
- Sliced Baguette
- Shredded Gruyere Cheese
- Thinly slice onions (I swear by my mandoline; quick and easy!).
- In a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat (if you don't have rosemary-infused olive oil, regular EVOO will do! But I love the stuff!). Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.
- Sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization). Add the minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
- Deglaze the pot with the white wine. Scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
- Add the stock, bay leaves, bourbon, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves.
- While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Top one side with gruyere cheese. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
- To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast (or two!) onto the top of each bowl of soup.