Truth be known, to me, French Onion Soup should be a food group! A few years ago, I got tired of going out to a restaurant to get it and quite honestly, sometimes it would come out incredibly salty. So I started making it at home instead. Now I can make it and eat it for a few days and enjoy every drop!
As I am always on a quest to change things up in the kitchen, I made my French Onion Beef Soup last winter or so and I am still getting requests for the recipe! Well, since really “beefing” up that recipe (haha), I decided to make a chicken version this past week especially with all the homemade chicken stock that I just made!
Typically French Onion Soup is made with beef broth for a really rich flavor, however, if you make it with a homemade chicken stock you really can achieve the same effect, only a little lighter on the palette.
I added some rotisserie chicken and a bunch of French herbs to make my version of French Chicken Onion Soup. Now it’s not only a delicious soup but a tasty meal!
In order to caramelize onions properly, you need to take your time. Caramelizing onions is like smoking a brisket. Low and slow is key. Don’t rush this process. It will take 1-1 1/2 hours to do it the right way! So plan ahead when making onion soup of any kind! You will be richly rewarded!!
Some thoughts on cheese. You really should use Gruyere cheese to make this soup perfect. It’s creamy and nutty and melts perfectly under the broiler. I like my soup cheesy in every bite, so I put about a 1/4 cup in the bottom of the bowl. The hot soup melts it so every spoonful has a bite of cheese! Yeah. Do this… lol!
If you can’t find Gruyere cheese or if it’s too pricey for your budget, you can substitute with any of these high alpine cow’s milk cheeses.
Making your own croutons is another must for a proper onion soup! A baguette goes a long way! Serve the extra croutons alongside the soup for extra dipping! Ps… I make these croutons for everything. I love them with cheese and salami for a snack!
Ovenproof soup bowls are generally stoneware and are marked “ovenproof”. When in doubt, don’t put in oven otherwise you will have a big mess on your hands! So maybe you are wondering what ovenproof soup bowls look like. Here is a link to Amazon to check them out.
If you don’t have or don’t want to buy ovenproof bowls, don’t fret! You can still make the French Chicken Onion Soup! Once you have made your croutons, top them with cheese, place on a cookie sheet and pop them under the broiler. Now you can put some cheesy croutons right on top of your soup! Cheesy croutons are just yummy anyway!
Finally, when you are ready to eat this soup, you may ask yourself, “Do I have too”? “It’s too pretty to eat”! It’s too good not to eat it!
***There is a link included on this post for Amazon. I am an affiliate with them and make a tiny amount of commission if you purchase from this link!
French Chicken Onion Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1/4 cup brandy or cream sherry
- homemade croutons
- 2-3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
To Make Homemade Croutons
- 1 baguette, sliced to 2 inch slices adjust to how thick you like it
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
To Make the Croutons
- Slice a baguette into 1-2 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Liberally drizzle olive oil over each slice. In a small bowl combine the salt and the granulated garlic. Sprinkle the salt mixture evenly over bread slices. (You will have extra).
- Bake the croutons in a 400-degree oven for 10-13 minutes or until the bottom of each piece becomes a golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. This can be made in advance and stored in a zip tight bag.
To Make the Caramelized Onions
- In a large saute pan on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and mix together until incorporated. Lower the temperature to low and let the onion mixture cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Continue to cook the onions until they become a deep golden brown, again stirring occasionally. This will take 45-60 minutes altogether. Stir in the sherry or brandy and cook until it evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside.
To Make the Soup
- When ready to assemble the soup. Transfer the onion mixture to a soup pot and add the chicken stock and the chicken. Bring to a boil and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Place about 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese in the bottom of an ovenproof soup bowl. Fill the bowl with the soup and place 2-3 croutons on top. Top that with about another 1/2 cup of swiss cheese and a couple of tablespoons of the parmesan cheese.
- Place the bowls on a cookie sheet (it will bubble over) and put under the broiler. Watch carefully and pull out the soup when the top begins to brown. This time is dependant on your oven but it goes quick so make sure you watch it!
- Let cool for a few minutes before digging in. It's a very hot soup. Enjoy!!!