It's cold outside, and amid this flurry of winter storms, few things provide more comfort than a warm bowl of soup. One of the ultimate comfort foods of all time is French Onion Soup, because it's both cheesy and hearty (aka filling).
As it turns out, there's an Italian spin on this classic food from beloved chef Giada De Laurentiis, who once again reminds us that "good food doesn't have to be complicated."
In her version, Giada swaps the traditional cheese (Gruyere) for Fontina, which she praises for its buttery and nutty flavor. She also subs the typical French bread for Ciabatta, because it's easier to sink your teeth into.
Making an authentic version of French Onion can be a process. Julia Child's version takes about two hours, for example. If you're snowed in and searching for a culinary distraction like Giada's soup, you can slowly sauté your onions on the stove. (Or you could take the "quick & dirty" route and recruit the help of your slow cooker like Salon Food's MaryElizabeth Williams.)
But if you're burnt out, cold, hungry or some combination of the above – meaning you need some comfort ASAP – Giada has you covered.
"My secret is that I use sweet onions, such as Vidalia, because they have a lot more sugar and caramelize faster – you don't even need to cook them down that much to get a great, sweet flavor," she writes on her website.
That means you can be done sautéing in as little as 10 minutes, making this recipe an ideal weeknight meal. In total, you'll spend little more than 30 minutes cooking this hearty soup. Because you're going to want seconds, we recommend making a double batch to save for another snow day (when you don't feel like getting off of the couch).
Once your onions are sautéed to your liking in a medium saucepan — we like the Five Two Essential line from Food52 — it's time to add beef broth and fresh thyme. After the onions are perfectly simmered, ladle your soup into four ramekins to be united with both bread and cheese. Your broiler does the rest of the work for you.
There's few things bubbly Fontina and golden Ciabatta can't fix. Take our word for it — and enjoy the full recipe here.
For more of our favorite recipes from Giada, check out:
- Giada De Laurentiis' creamy baked pasta is the ultimate comfort food
- Giada De Laurentiis' easy one-pot pasta is our new favorite weeknight recipe
- Giada De Laurentiis shares a recipe you can gift — and it only takes 15 minutes to put together
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