Have you ever been to Nordstrom Bistro? I used to work close to a mall with one of these and it was one of my favorite lunch spots. Yummy chicken, sandwiches, garlic aoili, and French Onion Soup. It was the perfect place to reward myself for getting through those stressful days.
After falling in love with Nordstrom’s version, I’ve been itching to try my hand at this classic soup. And tonight, I decided, would finally be the big day.
One of the main things that kept me from making this soup sooner was finding the right recipe. I’ve tried French Onion Soup at a few other restaurants only to be greatly disappointed.
I tried to find the Nordstrom recipe…but I couldn’t trust the ingredient list. Guess I’ll have to actually buy their cookbook to know for sure. In the meantime, I found confidence in Martha Stewart’s French Onion Soup recipe. So I hit the store to gather the ingredients.
There were two key ingredients I struggled to find: dry sherry and guyere cheese. Thanks to Google, I learned that sherry is either kept with wine or vinegar. As for the guyere, all I found was apple smoked guyere. It turned out okay, but it didn’t melt very well and didn’t have the original taste. I guess I’ll try Whole Foods next time.
French Onion Soup
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 chopped mushrooms
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp sugar
1 large yellow onion (I cut mine with a mandoline slicer)
1 tsp Thyme
Salt and pepper
French bread slices
Melt butter in a heavy pot on medium-low heat. Add onions. Spread them out in as thin a layer as possible. Sprinkle with sugar, and cook, stirring just as needed to keep onions from sticking, until they are melting and soft, golden brown, and beginning to caramelize, about 1 hour.
Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir to coat. Add sherry, stock, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, lightly toast bread under a broiler; set aside. Ladle hot soup into ovenproof bowls. Arrange the bowls on a baking pan. Place 1 or 2 slices of toasted bread over each bowl of soup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheese over bread in each bowl, and place under the broiler until cheese is melted and crusty brown around the edges. Watch carefully that bread doesn’t burn. Serve immediately.
Le sigh. This soup tasted good…but it was a little too heavy. Not sure if it was the sherry or the broth or what…but I’d definitely make some more adjustments to the recipe next time around. It was a lot of work for a Wednesday night.