Cooking with champagne makes this Champagne Onion Soup so decadent!
I can always pick out the salty, yeasty little boost it gives to a recipe. It also elevates some everyday type of recipes to fit-for-company status.
This soup is a twist on the classic French onion soup. The classic recipe often has sherry in it. The champagne replaces that in this recipe.
This is simple to make and light enough not to overpower the courses to come = elegant!
I like the distinct flavour that the fresh tarragon adds but you can substitute thyme if tarragon is not available.
Because there are not many ingredients in this it is important that the broth you use is the best possible. In a perfect world I use my 'beloved' veal stock. The last time I made this I only had about 1 ½ cups of veal stock in the container I defrosted so I supplemented it with store-bought beef stock. So just use the best you can muster up!
I use Henkell Troken champagne because it comes in little packs of 3-200 milliliter bottles. Each bottle is about 2 cups.
You may remember that I am a big fan of caramelized onions. I make big batches of them and freeze portions so I can just pull them out to defrost. If you have them on hand this recipe is an absolute snap to make. If not ..them double or triple the batch you make for this recipe and stock up!
For the cheese topping on the croutons use a nutty flavourful cheese. I used Jarlsberg but Gruyere, Emmenthaler or Oka would also work.
Wine Pairing for Champagne Onion Soup
The obvious would be to go with the same Champagne or Sparkling wine you used in the soup. If that is not an option then I would look for a Dry or Extra Dry Prosecco. Any Sparkling that has toasty notes, brioche, pastry notes in the description would complement this soup.
Champagne Onion Soup
- 4 medium yellow onions finely diced
- 2 Tbsps butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced (you can substitute thyme if you like)
- 2 ½ cups Veal stock or beef broth
- 200 mil champagne (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 thin slices baguette (cut a bit on the diagonal)
- 6 oz Jarlsberg or other nutty soft cheese
- Sautée onions in butter for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle brown sugar over and cook a further 5 minutes. Add in red wine and tarrragon and cook another 10-15 minutes until onions are golden coloured and soft.
- Preheat broiler while stock is simmering below.
- Heat stock and champagne in a sauce pan. Add the onion mixture and bay leaf. Simmer about 12 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. ( I did not need any).
- Spread baguette slices on a baking sheet. Toast under broiler until just golden brown. (4 minutes for my oven). Turn over and toast until golden on the other side. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over the baguette slices. Return to oven til cheese is melted and bubbly.
- When ready to serve, divide soup between 6 bowls and float cheesy crouton in middle of bowl.