My first introduction to this heavenly soup was at SHIMON’S PIZZA STORE in Kew Garden Hills, Queens. Nearly every Sunday, we would go to Shimon’s and I would order the French Onion Soup with a slice of pizza. There was just something about all the sweet onions and the melted cheese inside that made it all the more delectable and memorable. As I got older and started to experiment with cooking, this was the first soup I wanted to recreate. It wasn’t exactly Shimon’s, but it pretty close.
3 cups of pearl onions, thinly sliced
7 cups of large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp. tarragon
2 tbsp. curry powder
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour + 1 tbsp.
French bread, sliced and toasted
In a large pot, over medium-low heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the basil and tarragon.When butter is nearly melted, add the sliced pearl and Spanish onions. Stir with a wooden spoon and coat the onions thoroughly with the melted butter mixture. Add the curry powder, salt and cumin. Stir again and coat the onions well with entire butter spice mixture. Cover pot, raise to medium-heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until onions have become very soft and caramelized.
Lower heat and add the flour to the onion mixture. Mix the flour into the onion mixture, creating a thicker paste-like mixture, that are coating the onions. This is the base of your onion soup.
Add water to fill pot about 3/4 of the way. Raise the heat to medium and cover pot. Let soup cook for about 1 hour.
To serve, ladle the soup into oven-proof bowls. Place a slice of toasted French bread in each bowl so it floats on top; cover entire bread with mozzeralla cheese. Place into oven. Let the cheese melt about 8 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
Remove the soup bowls from oven and serve immediately with more crusty bread.