French Onion Soup with Parmesan Croutons
French Onion Soup is one of Matt’s absolute favourite meals. He tends to eat a lot of soup, especially when we go out to a restaurant. I think it was something ingrained in him growing up. I can see how many of Matt’s eating habits are a combination of his parents. His dad always orders soup and salad to start every meal while out at a restaurant, and Matt is the same way.
When we first started making this French Onion Soup I (Karlee) was worried it wouldn’t live up to his expectations. To be completely honest, I had never had french onion soup before. My family did eat a lot of soup while I was growing up. However, it usually was Portuguese in origin or something simple and out of a box. By the time I became an adult and stared enjoying food and cooking. I was diagnosed with celiac disease.
Fraiche Food Full Hearts Cookbook
This French Onion Soup recipe is actually not an original that we created. It is out of the cookbook Fraiche Food Full Hearts by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. These two ladies are some of my favourite sources of inspiration and their cookbook is full of it. This recipe is on page 144 and is simple and easy to make. I know the cook time says 90 minutes, but truly if you have two people in the kitchen, you can probably cut that down to an hour or less.
There are two main tips I want to note while cooking this dish. First, make sure you give the onions enough time to cook down. Second, use a good beef stock concentrate. If you can find a beef flavoured vegetable based concentrate, then you can make this entire meal gluten free and vegetarian. Skip the cheese and use vegan butter to make the entire dish vegan.
We have made this recipe many times and we are always impressed how well the classic French onion soup flavour comes through. Without cooking the onions and broth for hours. The first time we made this recipe, Matt was so surprised how great the taste was from the actual soup, as well as the parmesan croutons.
Gluten Free Parmesan Croutons
The brand of gluten free bread that we used for the croutons, is easy to find in grocery stores and is kept frozen. It is very hard to find good fresh gluten free bread. We do have our go-to brand for fresh bread but it may not be easily accessible to everyone. Frozen bread however is easier to come buy. Udi’s makes some great products and they are in majority of grocery stores. For the croutons we used Udi’s Crispy and Delicious French Baguettes. They come in a package of two and work great for the purpose of making croutons.
All you have to do is let one baguette thaw on the counter, or pop it into the microwave or oven. Then cut the baguette into 1 inch cubes and use it as if it is a gluten containing french baguette. The bread is a little denser than I usually like but this bread works great eating it not toasted or made into croutons. But we prefer to toast it and use the Promise Brand for fresh bread needs. Anyone you are feeding that eats gluten will not notice the difference in their French Onion Soup. Especially once you have seasoned and toasted the croutons, and they have soaked up that delicious onion broth.
This soup is flavourful and truly hits the spot. If you’re craving a bowl of French Onion Soup or just looking for a great meal, this recipe sure won’t disappointment. With a few easy swaps from the original, you can make this amazing recipe gluten free. If you’re looking for more soup ideas check out this healthy and hearty Lentil Soup. Let us know if you try out this recipe below in the comments!
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||90 minutes|
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 6 large yellow onions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 cup thyme fresh, chopped
- 3/4 cup dry red wine we use Caleta Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
- 8 tsp beef Better Than Bouillon
- 8 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese grated
- 6 sprigs thyme fresh, for garnish
- 1 gluten free baguette cut into 1/2-inch cubes, we use Udi's brand
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp thyme fresh, chopped
- 2 tsp rosemary fresh, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
French Onion Soup
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, stir and cook until the onions have turned translucent. Takes about 5-8 minutes.
- Add chopped thyme to the pot. Reduce heat to low, still cooking onions. Make sure to stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom on the pot. Continue to do so for about 30 minutes or the onions are a light brown.
- Once the onions are golden brown. Turn the high up to medium and add in the red wine. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring to mix and reduce the wine.
- In a bowl, large glass measuring cup, or the pot. Combine the beef concentrate (better than bouillon) and the water. Add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Taking a medium sized baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Make sure to cube your gluten free baguette. Place cubed bread in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt and garlic. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread and toss to coat.
- Take your parchment lined baking sheet and spread out the coated cubes evenly. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese, making sure to evenly distribute it on the brad cubes. Use your hands to coat the bread if necessary.
- Pop the baking sheet in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Flipping the croutons once or twice while cooking.
- When done, remove from heat and let cool.
- When your croutons are done in the oven. Preheat the broiler on high (you have have an option).
- Use oven safe bowls and place them on a baking sheet. Evenly ladle in the french onion soup to each bowl. Drop in a handful of the parmesan-thyme croutons. Sprinkle on the gruyere cheese and place a sprig of thyme on top.
- Carefully place the bowls on the baking sheet into the oven under the broiler for 1 minute, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Keep an eye on it, so that it doesn't burn. Once done, remove from oven and serve immediately.