This exceptional recipe comes from Calgary-born chef Nick Atkins and can be found on the menu at 15 Park Bistro at the Watermark Resort in Osoyoos, BC. With a suggested pairing of Meyer Chardonnay, this soup is the perfect starter for your harvest feast.

French Onion Soup

Total Time 4 hours
Servings 4
Author Chef Nick Atkins

Ingredients

Soup Base

  • ¼ lb. Unsalted Butter
  • About 6 Large 4lb. Yellow Onions, peeled and julienned with the grain of the onion (opposite of making onion rings, if that makes sense)
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour sifted
  • ¼ cup Red Wine
  • 2 quarts Beef Stock The soup is only as good as the stock, so purchasing a flavourful artisan beef stock or making one from scratch is ideal
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar

Garnish

  • 16-24 1”x1” Dry Bread Croutons to Garnish (Preferably Herb Focaccia)
  • 1 ½ cups Swiss Gouda or Cave-aged Gruyère Cheese, grated (the better the cheese, the better the soup)
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped garden herbs rosemary, thyme, parsley
  • Pinch Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

Caramelize the onions

  • In a large pot, melt the butter on high heat. Avoid browning the butter by adding onions before the butter is completely melted. Season with kosher salt to draw out the moisture in the onions. Stir frequently and cook for about 15 minutes. You may notice that the onions have become translucent and some water has leached out. Keep the temperature high and the stirring frequent until the moisture has evaporated and the onions are starting to colour/caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pot. (Brown colour is good, black is too far, if the onions get too dark the soup will be bitter. You may add some water to deglaze the pot if the onions colour accidentally).
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to caramelize for at least 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add small amounts of water (1 Tbsp.) if the onions stick to the pot.
  • Once the onions are at a deep brown colour and all of the moisture has evaporated. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sift in the flour and stir aggressively to avoid lumps. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Deglaze the pot

  • Add the red wine and allow the liquid to lift all the sticky onions and starch from the bottom of the pot. Add the beef stock and herbs and simmer for 1-1 ½ hours.

Finishing the soup

  • After the soup has simmered, add the sherry vinegar and taste the soup. Add additional salt if needed and remove the bay leaves.

Garnishing the soup

  • Using oven-proof bowls or a large casserole dish, ladle soup into dishes. Cover with the bread croutons and sprinkle with cheese. Put under the broiler for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Carefully Take out of the oven and sprinkle chopped herbs and grated parmesan. Enjoy!!