Canadian Onion Soup

3 tbsp Vegetable oil
6 Sweet onions, medium size, thinly sliced
3 cloves Garlic
4 c. Beef broth
1/2 tsp Thyme, dried (or 1 tbsp Fresh chopped thyme)
1 tbsp Pure maple syrup
Salt & pepper
French baguette
Your favourite cheese (eg. Swiss, Elemental, Gruyere, Mozerella)

On a flat bottom frying pan, cook the onions in oil for 30 min or until caramelized. Stir frequently.

Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Drizzle the maple syrup over the onion and stir.

Add beef broth and thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is simmering, cut approximately 1/3 of the baguette into 1-inch cubes. Toast the bread in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, until they are slightly brown and crunchy. Set aside and let them cool to room temperature.

Transfer the soup into oven-safe bowls. Top with toasted bread cubes and your favourite cheese. Broil on high for 3 minutes, until the cheese have melted and turned lightly brown.

My comments:

We love French Onion Soup. We've always ordered it at a restaurant or buy the frozen ones from M&M Meatshop, but never thought we could make it ourselves because I thought it's hard to do. But oh boy! was I ever wrong!! The Onion Soup couldn't be easier to make and the homemade soup tastes a million times better than the restaurant ones!!

I came across this Canadian Onion Soup recipe on one of those free magazines I received in the mail from Sobeys. It uses simple ingredients I always have at home and the instructions are easy to follow. I followed the recipe exactly the first time and found some of the ingredients were too overpowering. I liked the modifciations I've made to the recipe and everyone I've shared this recipe with loved the taste of it.

My only criticism is the cooking time for the onions. It is necessary to stir the onions frequently while it's cooking so that the onions are cooked evenly. But 30 minutes is a long time to stand in front of the stove. My friend told me her recipe uses the microwave and you can have a yummy onion soup in less than 30 minutes. While you can cook the broth in the microwave, I found the soup to be more flavourful when the soup is simmered on the stove top. So try this method if you are squeezed for time:
  • Mix the onions with oil (or butter) in a casserole dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until limp, stiring occasionally. Transfer the cooked onions to a pot.
  • Add the garlic, thyme and maple syrup. Stir to mix.
  • Add the beef broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
I've made this recipe with simple cooking onions and I thought it tasted just as good as using sweet onions. Some people like the taste of beef consommé better than the beef broth, but we prefer the broth because we found the consommé too strong.

There are 2 other advantages I wanted to point out with this recipe. One is the sodium content. I always find the restaurant or the frozen soup to be too salty. You can reduce the sodium by a lot if you make the soup yourself and it is much healthier this way. The beef and onion flavours are strong enough that it is not necessary to overload on the salt. The second advantage is that this soup makes great leftovers. I always use more onions than the recipe asks for (6-7 medium size cooking onions), just so I can have leftovers. To re-heat the soup, simply add more beef broth and simmer for about 15 minutes on the stove. You can have onion soups for 2 people for up to 3 days. The leftover soup always taste much better than the first day. This is much faster, much healthier and far tastier than cooking the soup from a frozen package.

I can't rave enough about this recipe. It's my favourite soup recipe of all times and I highly recommend you try this out!