A warm bowl of French onion soup is the best comfort food for a cold day. The layer of melted cheese that tops the soup often flows over the sides to create a golden crust. We added a coffee stout to this traditional French dish.
What is French Onion Soup?
French onion soup is a simple soup made from caramelized onions in broth. It’s finished with some sherry and topped with melted Gruyere cheese.
Because it adds smoothness and colour to the soup with only a hint of coffee flavour, we used coffee stout instead of traditional sherry. Our chef also chose to use a mixture of Swiss and Provolone cheese instead of traditional gruyere because both kinds of cheese melt well. You can also create a dynamic flavour by mixing two types of cheeses. This signature cheese layer was created using a salamander Broiler. It produces heat from above and can melt cheese in just minutes.
French Onion Soup: History
Onion soup has been enjoyed since the Roman Empire. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that French caramelizes were introduced to onions. This simple step transformed an otherwise simple soup into something much more complex. Legend has it that King Louis XV (pictured right) was visiting his hunting lodge when he discovered that the only ingredients in his pantry were onions and butter. The French onion soup was born. Although the truth of this tale is not entirely true, it is a great legend.
Julia Child’s cooking TV series, popular in the 1960s, brought French dishes such as beef bourguignon to prominence. This was when the soup became a staple in American restaurants.
French Onion Soup is Popular!
French onion soup can be found on almost every American Menu, from casual diners to high-end country clubs. There are many reasons this soup is so popular. It’s easy to make and only requires a few common ingredients, which most kitchens have in stock for other recipes. Onions are easy to store, have a long shelf-life, don’t need special storage, and can be comforting and familiar on cold days.
The Cost of Coffee Stout French Onion Soup
Because onions are easy to grow in many environments and have a long harvest time, they are very affordable. We found that 8 servings of French onion soup cost $5.18 each. This is only $0.65 per portion! This soup will be sold on most menus for $5 per serving. That’s a substantial profit margin of $4.35. These numbers may vary depending on the ingredients used. You can make great French onion soup for pennies per cup.
- Sold on the Menu – $5
- Food cost per serving: $0.65
- Profit Margin Per Serving- $4.35
Coffee Stout French Onion Soup Recipe
This recipe yields 8 cups each. The total cooking time is approximately 65 minutes. However, most of the time, it’s just waiting for everything else to cook. While that may seem like a long time, it will allow you to do other things while your flavours develop. These steps should not be taken in a rush. As your onions simmer, natural sugars will be released. This creates the exquisite flavour you love in French onion soup.
Although this recipe calls for beef stock, you can substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. Watch the video to see how to make coffee stout French onions soup.
Ingredients for the Soup
- 1 oz. 1 oz.
- 2 lbs. Thinly sliced sweet onions
- 1 minced shallot
- 12 oz. 12 oz.
- 1/2 gallon beef stock
- 1 Sachet d’Epices
- 1 large crouton
- 1 piece each of provolone and swiss cheese
- Salt and pepper to your liking
Ingredients for The Sachet d’Epices
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
- 1 clove of garlic
- Sauté the onions and minced shallots in butter on medium heat, occasionally stirring, until golden brown. This should take approximately 30 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to half by adding the coffee stout to the pan.
- Stir in the stock and the sachet, and let it simmer for 35 minutes.
- Salt and fresh pepper are essential for a soup.
- Place the soup in a crock.
- Crouton can be added to the cheese and topped with cheese.
- Broil the salamander in the oven until it is slightly bubbly and golden brown.
How to Make a Crouton
Croutons are a good choice for several reasons. Croutons are a great way to use up day-old bread, which almost every restaurant has in their kitchen. You can save money by using your old bread to make croutons.
We use the following for our crouton:
1. Use a cookie cutter to cut a sandwich roll
2. Spray it with regular cooking spray
3. Season it with salt, pepper, and other seasonings.
4. The bread was then toasted in the oven
This step can be completed before you start your soup or while you wait for the onion to cook.
What is a “Sachet d’Epices?”
A sachet of spices and aromatics is a small pouch that contains herbs and spices. It’s used to infuse flavour into liquids. The pouch is usually made from a cheesecloth square, loaded with herbs and tied together to make a bundle. It can then be dropped into the broth to be taken out later. The stems can be used because they are strong and can be used for cooking. You can also save the leaves to use as garnishes or for other delicate purposes.